Skip to main content

Full text of "A Huguenot family in the XVI century : the memoirs of Philippe du Mornay, Soeur du Plessis Marly"

See other formats

= U~) 

. . C-J 




' Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale 
Her infinite variety." 



" \rrv 

:83roabwa\> translations 






Sceur du Plessis Marly 

Translated by 


With an Introduction 












II. THE GRAND TOUR : 1567-1572 




v. civil war : 1575-1577 

XII. FAMILY EVENTS : 1590-1605 . 


DE MORNAY ..... 












2 93 


Philippe de Mornay, Sieur du Plessis 

Marly .... Frontispiece 

Gate House of the Chateau of Buhy 

Duel of the ' Mignons ' . 

Murder of the Admiral Coligny . 

Old London Bridge 

Antwerp and the Scheldt 

Court Ladies in the Reign of Henri III 

Henri IV. ..... 







My hope in offering an English version of this memoir 
is that it may find a welcome among those to whom 
a long gone past can still appeal as a living present. 
In his own day du Plessis' writings had a wide popu- 
larity in English translations ; his wife's book has waited 
for over three hundred years, and yet her writing has 
a more enduring human interest. But even a complete 
French edition of the memoirs, letters and state papers 
of du Plessis was not published before 1824. In 1868 
a new and carefully-revised text of the memoir, includ- 
ing a few unpublished family letters and papers, was 
edited by Mme de Witt for the Soci^te de 1'Histoire 
de France, and my translation has been made from this 
latter text. The student must still go to the original 
for he will not find the whole book here, as written by 
Mile du Plessis. Up to the year 1590 nothing has been 
omitted. After that date I have only translated that 
portion which concerns the de Mornay family, since my 
object is to reconstruct the history of a family rather 
than to elucidate the tangle of political and huguenot 
events after the cessation of civil war. 


France in du Plessis Mornay's Boyhood 

The memoirs of Philippe de Mornay, generally known as 
M. du Plessis Marly from the name of his estate, take 
their place as one among the scores of memoirs in which 
the history and the literature of France are so extra- 
ordinarily rich. The du Plessis memoirs possess, how- 
ever, a special quality of their own. They are not, as so 
many are, written to glorify their writer's own career in 
war or court, nor to justify or advocate some special 
policy ; they are not, as others, dry records of adminis- 
trative achievements, nor highly coloured romances in 
whose trustworthiness it is impossible to believe. The 
times described are times of extreme disturbance ; the 
writer is a woman of great ability and character, yet they 
are not written mainly either as a history of the times nor 
for the glorification of the writer. The book is the story 
of a family in which children, and kinsfolk and friends all 
have their place, although always Philippe, Sieur du 
Plessis Marly, the author's husband, remains the idolized 
hero of the story. The fact that this is so entirely a 
family record, at least for the first forty years, gives a 
zest to the writer's descriptions, an intimacy, a poignancy 
rarely met elsewhere. School days and early travels 
through Europe ; escapes from the St Bartholomew 
massacre ; capture by pirates ; life in Sedan, England, 
the Low Countries and in the ever shifting court of 
Navarre ; a long quarrel with puritanical ministers over 
the way court ladies should dress their hair ; an attempted 
assassination and the prolonged and curious procedure by 


which the assailant and his victim were finally reconciled ; 
literary work ; sieges and battles, and finally all the small 
stray details of family life which crop up from time to 
time are all set down, with a restraint and sobriety 
reminiscent of Scotland rather than France, for the 
edification of the writer's son. The mingling of all 
these things makes of these memoirs a book apart. 

Those who read them in the present day could often 
wish for more details, for a fuller mention of the little 
things which more than anything else transform the past 
into the present. But the son, for whose sake the story 
was chiefly written, knew all these common things for 
himself. He had been born in the midst of civil war and 
grew up in a clash and turmoil which wellnigh led to 
the very disintegration of the kingdom of France ; but 
through the fury of public affairs all the ordinary things 
went on, all the daily routine of living, and the only 
regret is that the writer of the memoirs thought these 
homely matters so little worth relating. Thus many 
things remain obscure for present-day readers which were 
too obvious to need a mention nearly four hundred 
years ago, and it is not only the language, with its page- 
long sentences and use of now obsolete words, which may 
present difficulties to them. Something more than 
translation is needed for those who have made no special 
study of the time, some slight aid to render the memoirs 
as vivid in modern days as they were to those who had 
lived through the scenes they describe. 

Philippe de Mornay, Sieur du Plessis Marly was born 
in 1549 and died in 1623. His memoirs cover the time 
from his birth to the year 1600. The writer, his wife, 
died in 1606 ; the son, for whom she wrote, was killed in 
the Low Countries in 1605 ; their daughters were married 
and M. du Plessis' last years were passed in a retirement 
in strange contrast to the incessant turmoil of his youth 
and middle life. He was born in an age when his father 
dared not read a lutheran book for fear " of the fires of 
persecution then alight in France " ; he died in one 


when greater religious freedom was enjoyed in France 
than was allowed in any other European country, whether 
Catholic or Protestant. The long struggle between 
France and the Empire came to an end in Philippe's 
early childhood but it left the country full of unrest and 
with the seeds of the coming troubles already sown. 
For years the wars in Italy had found congenial employ- 
ment for the nobles and now when they were over 
crowds of men, some few enriched in the wars but many 
more hopelessly impoverished, some few with minds and 
interests enlarged and educated by the Italian magic, 
but many more brutalized and corrupted by battlefield 
and camp, returned to scatter over the country places 
of France. But not only the wars, and still more the end 
of the wars, brought unrest. Throughout du Plessis' 
childhood the struggle of faiths was also shaping and 
the long period of civil war becoming more and more 
hopelessly inevitable. And, no less than France, all 
Europe was in a ferment, and little peace and still less 
freedom was to be found in any land. Philippe was a 
true child of the French reformation, and this is all the 
truer since neither of his parents openly professed the 
reformed faith at the time of his birth. In its early 
manifestations the reformation in France had little to do 
with new creeds and new forms of church government. 
It grew naturally out of the Renaissance and found its 
origin in the new learning and liberal thought of the 
humanists. Erasmus rather than Luther influenced the 
early beginnings. Strictly Catholic reformers such as 
Briconnet, bishop of Meaux, and the learned Lefevre 
d'Etaples were among the earliest forerunners of the 
French movement towards Protestantism although they 
themselves always maintained their orthodoxy. Briconnet 
had formed part of the little court kept by Marguerite 
d'AngoulSme, sister of Francois I, where culture and 
piety flourished, where preachers boldly preached reform 
of the church, where poets made verses and Marguerite 
tales all in an exquisite atmosphere of piety, sentiment 


and gaiety. But this first groping after reform in the 
midst of real learning and genuine piety, mingled with 
the charm of a small renaissance court, had a profound 
effect on the course of the general reformation in France. 
To this may be traced the undoubted fact that the 
movement spread first among the nobles, and more 
especially among the women of their class. There is no 
more striking feature of the French movement towards 
protestantism than the part that well-born women played 
in it. During the many years of war women were often 
left alone to act as the head of the household and this 
gave them more freedom to think and act for themselves, 
just as the greater responsibilities thrown upon them in 
the long absences of their menfolk tended to develop 
them intellectually. But the fact that the very heart of 
the movement was herself a woman, a king's sister and 
queen of Navarre naturally attracted other women to 
the opinions she professed in so alluring a manner. 
Certain it is that from the very beginning women took 
a large part in the early movement towards a purified 
Catholicism, as well as in the later adoption of the 
sterner Calvinist creed ; few among them were more 
notable exponents of this truth than the writer of the 
Mornay memoirs. These women were often far better 
educated than their husbands and sons, who had often 
gone to the Italian wars when scarcely more than boys, 
and the labours of reformers like the bishop of Meaux 
and the men he called to the work of regenerating his 
neglected diocese specially appealed to such. There was 
no harsh break with the old tradition, and such innova- 
tions as were made went naturally in hand with the new 
learning. Ignorance and gross superstition among the 
people, almost as great ignorance and still grosser neglect 
of duty among the lesser clergy, these were the abuses 
Briconnet set out to cure. A regular system of preach- 
ings and readings of the scriptures and, above all, the 
translation of the bible into the vulgar tongue were the 
remedies he relied on. Lefevre, the celebrated teacher, 


and his disciples were his chief supporters. Lefevre was 
already an old man when, responding to the bishop's call, 
he threw off the numbing influence of the University of 
Paris where he had taught so long with distinction. 
" Our theologians say in their hearts," he wrote, " ' I am 
your master, I am the famous Bachelor,' but a poor and 
saintly woman can understand the scriptures better 
than they." 

This early movement had a wide tolerance of view — 
Luther was much read, and Farel of Geneva and Zwingli 
of Zurich, and Erasmus, the greatest scholar and most 
modern thinker of them all. Briconnet's work took good 
hold among town dwellers of all classes in his own as well 
as in neighbouring dioceses ; in the country it spread 
mainly among the gentry, the smaller nobles and more, 
as has been said, among the women than among the men. 
Meaux lay at no great distance from the home of the 
Mornay family on the river Epte, nor even from Nor- 
mandy, west of the little river, over which the rami- 
fications of the family spread in every direction. It is 
clear that reading the bible was practised in many of 
its branches and, as time developed the early Catholic 
reform into a much wider and less orthodox movement 
under the growing influence of Calvin, not a few among 
them openly professed themselves as converts to the new 
reformed creed. 

At the time of these first efforts France was in crying 
need of religious reform. Tendencies, which must 
already have been at work, received an extraordinary 
impetus in consequence of the Concordat concluded 
between France and the Papacy in 15 16, but the very 
reason for the growing need of reform was also the 
ultimate reason for the failure of reform through the 
medium of a protestant church. The seizure of church 
property by Henry VIII in contemporary England was as 
nothing to the control over similar property acquired by 
the King of France under the Concordat. Henry VIII 
granted away the church's possessions to laymen, but the 


grant once made his power over them was gone. By the 
Concordat the gift, not of the property but of its enjoy- 
ment for life, passed into the hands of the French King ; 
at the death of the beneficiary its disposal returned to 
him who had given it. Realizing the enormous power 
thus obtained the Venetian ambassador wrote : " The 
King has the nomination to ten archbishoprics, eighty- 
two bishoprics, five hundred and twenty-seven abbeys 
and a host of lesser benefices. This privilege assures him 
the most complete submission and obedience from the 
prelates as well as from laymen who want to secure 
benefices." The benefice remained Church property, 
never to be alienated from the Church, but the enjoy- 
ment of it depended on the king's will, to be granted by 
him again and again so often as it fell vacant. The power 
was immense and the injury to the Church as immense. 
Bishoprics and abbeys accumulated in the hands of a few 
court favourites or great nobles. Smaller gifts were 
reserved to the lesser nobility, and church preferment, 
which in earlier times had been open to all who entered 
the church, thus passed definitely into the hands of the 
noble class. The Cardinal Lorraine, in addition to the 
Archbishopric of Rheims, held nine of the most important 
abbeys in France ; to an Italian, Cardinal Farnese, 
Henri II promised all the benefices which next fell 
vacant up to the value of 50,000 livres. ' The pity is,' 
wrote an agent of Farnese, ' that so far no priest has died 
who is worth anything much.' These are but two 
chance examples of an ever growing evil. 

While the King, with a few exceptions reserved to the 
Pope, controlled all the most valuable gifts of the Church, 
the villages were largely left to abbots and nobles for the 
choice of their priests. Debarred from all hope of 
preferment or any better position than that of a village 
cure, a downward tendency in the learning and morals of 
these village priests, already existing, was accelerated by 
the Concordat. But two other results also followed, no 
less important in the years of bitter political and religious 


civil war during the reigns of the last Valois kings. The 
sharp line drawn between the upper and the lower 
clergy weakened the sense of unity and allegiance not 
only in the church but in the kingdom. Out of this 
severance grew that body of revolutionary priests who 
were so important a part of the League, who did more 
than any other body of men to hold Paris in defiance of 
two kings, and who taught that it was a holy act for one 
of their number to assassinate Henri III. This was one 
unforeseen but far-reaching result. The other was the 
movement towards reform by the most thoughtful and 
earnest both of priests and monks. Large numbers of 
the Huguenot preachers came from convent and presby- 
tery, so large that the reformers grew nervous as the 
reformation passed from a purification of Catholicism 
into the sterner creed of Geneva, and an ever increasing 
strictness of proof of conversion was asked of those who 
had once taken Catholic vows. 

The spread of the reformation owed much to these 
converts in the monasteries. Many became notable 
preachers and did valuable service, and many remained 
no more reputable as Lutherans or Calvinists than they 
had been as dissolute friars. Lefevre d'Etaple's version 
of the bible in French was carried far and wide by these 
wandering preachers, and the printing presses were kept 
busy supplying a sufficient quantity of copies. In Lyons 
a French version of the Scriptures was printed with the 
King's permission, but here Francois I's interest in the 
' new learning ' justified an action which was later con- 
demned by a Catholicism frightened at the use made of 
the Bible in Germany and Geneva. Not that the 
attempted suppression of protestant printing presses suc- 
ceeded, for many towns kept secret presses at work and 
the copies were carried to every quarter of the realm not 
only by wandering preachers but hidden in the packs of 

Du Plessis' mother was a daughter of the Vice- 
Admiral du Bee Crespin, Sieur de Wardes, and Normandy 


where all her kinsfolk lived was specially open to outside 
influences through its ports. It was a natural highway 
from England and Scotland on the one hand to 
Southern Germany and Switzerland on the other. In 
du Plessis' boyhood Dieppe was almost wholly a huguenot 
town and Knox, in his journeys to and from Geneva 
stayed long months there preaching constantly. The 
family of du Bee Crespin were many of them ardent 
protestants even before du Plessis' birth. When 
Madeleine, a girl of sixteen, married Francois de Mornay, 
Sieur de Buhy, she must already have been imbued with 
the strong theological bent which made her subsequently 
so shining a light in the reformed church. She might 
have been in the minds of the writers of the English 
and Scottish Confession of Faith 1643, when they spoke 
of the importance of the mother of the family. " And 
doubtless many an excellent Magistrate hath been sent 
into the Commonwealth, and many an excellent Pastor 
into the Church, and many a precious Saint to Heaven, 
through the happy preparations of a holy education, 
perhaps by a woman that thought herself useless and 
unserviceable to the church." 

From the little sketch of the Sieur de Buhy, given in 
his son's memoirs, Francoise du Bee Crespin would seem 
to have been fortunate in her marriage. The family at 
Buhy must have been an exceptionally good example of a 
sixteenth century household. It did not belong to the 
highest nobility, although it could claim kinship in some 
degree with many of the greatest names. At a moment 
in middle life when du Plessis needed all the powerful 
support possible, such families as the Tremouilles, the 
Rohans, the Chatillons and that of Turenne, then Duke 
of Bouillon, willingly acknowledged his claims on them as 
their kinsman. But if the Mornays were not of the 
highest nobility they were far above the mass of the 
country gentry, mostly poor and often much below the 
bourgeois landed proprietors in education and decencies 
of life. French families in the sixteenth century were 


prolific and many a noble household was faced with the 
problem of providing for half a dozen sons out of some 
small patrimony. In England a gentleman's younger 
sons went into trade, followed the law, sailed the seas as 
gentlemen adventurers, for in England the nobles and 
gentry formed no class apart. In contemporary France 
trade was forbidden to a man of noble birth ; the long 
wars with the Empire had left no superfluous energy for 
the exploration of the wonderful ' New World ' which 
filled so large a place in the minds of Spanish, English and 
Portuguese gentlemen and offered such marvels of 
conquest and wealth. Official life throughout the 
reigns of the Valois kings became a main source of the 
Crown income, and careers were only open to those who 
could buy. Law again was almost as much a caste as 
nobility itself and out of officialdom and law a new 
nobility ' de robe ' was rising. By purchase of some 
lucrative post a certain number of the older nobility did 
enter into the new. The father of du Plessis' wife, 
Charlotte d'Arbaleste, on his return from his travels as a 
youth in Germany and Italy, thought " only of getting 
married and securing some suitable employment ... he 
obtained a post as president in the Chambres des Comptes 
which he filled with integrity." But for the vast number 
of the younger sons of noble families there were but two 
ways of getting a living, should the family estates be 
inadequate for their support, War and the Church. 
To fight at the King's bidding was the one duty the 
State demanded from the noble. His land was exempt 
from taxation, his life was hedged about with privileges 
but while the King was at war he was expected to join 
the King's army at his own expense and with his own 
followers. Those whose possessions did not impose this 
duty accepted it as their special privilege and their one 
chance of winning fame, position and riches. Machia- 
velli's description of the French army held good for long 
years : " Younger sons . . . give themselves up to the 
calling of arms. Thus the French soldiers are without 


equals ; being mostly nobles and the sons of nobles, 
rivals in their ambition to attain the highest rank." 
Wars were thus the natural and desirable outlet, and so 
long as the struggle between France and the Empire 
lasted there was a chance for the young nobles. They 
fought and plundered and came home with riches in 
their pockets ; they distinguished themselves and won 
positions of one sort or another ; they were killed and so 
an end ; or they returned empty-handed to swell the 
ranks of ill-educated, war-brutalized and war-impover- 
ished men who swarmed over France at the conclusion of 
peace, and who furnished an almost inexhaustible supply 
of partisans for the Bourbons and the Guises, for the 
personal ambitions and revenges of ' les Grands ', for 
the embittered struggle of Catholic and Huguenot. 

The alternative was the Church. It is almost im- 
possible to exaggerate the systematic use of the wealth of 
the church for the enrichment of private families. 
Francois I and Henri II fully understood and as fully 
used their control over the church as the readiest way to 
win the allegiance of the mass of the lesser nobility. 
The rapid growth of the absolutism of the monarchy 
under the Valois kings can be largely traced to this 
control ; by its means it became possible to reward and 
to bribe, without cost to the crown, and old feudal 
customs and the feudal dependence of the lesser nobles 
on the greater disappeared under a regime when, for the 
first time in French history, the king had an almost 
limitless source of wealth at his command. Not only 
could he grant the enjoyment of a benefice ; he could 
also promise its future enjoyment when it fell vacant. 
More than this he could allow the living incumbent to 
' resign ' it in favour of a nephew or some other person 
whom he wished to benefit, although the resignation 
might be merely titular and the revenue and adminis- 
tration remain with the incumbent so long as he lived. 
Thus by a fiction the benefice at his death was not 
vacated and his nominee, already in name recognized as 


the holder of the benefice, at once entered into its real 
and full possession. There was no need for such a nominee 
to be in orders, nor even of an age for priesthood. The 
poor bishopric of Lucon, granted by Henri III to the 
father of Cardinal Richelieu — a layman and father of a 
family — remained for fifty years in the family. Through- 
out a considerable part of this time the titular bishop 
and recipient of the main part of the revenue were, in 
succession, two boys ; the episcopal duties being carried 
out by an administrator until first one and then the 
second boy reached an age to assume them himself. 

In the Mornay family a somewhat similar provision 
was intended for du Plessis. His wife records that it 
was only the providential death of his uncle before he 
had had time to resign his benefices in his nephew's 
favour which saved du Plessis from the snares of ecclesias- 
tical wealth. Other and similar temptations fell in his 
way and had he not been a firm convert to the ' Religion ' 
he might have obtained a very fair share of a younger 
son's claim to church property. Even as it was his 
chances of preferment profoundly modified his educa- 
tion. Whereas his elder brother was sent into a great 
household as a page, Philippe went to college in Paris, 
and donned a clerk's dress while still a child, in sign of 
his future destination. 

The Mornay estate lay in the Vexin, on the French 
side of the river Epte, Normandy lying on the other. 
In the country on either side there were many other 
estates belonging to both de Mornay and du Bee 
kinsfolk, and the characteristic solidarity of a French 
family is very evident in the memoirs. This same link- 
ing of families was equally apparent in every province, 
generally accompanied by the recognition of some 
dominant nobleman, the last survival of the old feudal 
dependence ; someone of greater wealth and birth than 
those who claimed kinship with him, who would educate 
the youngsters as pages and take them to the wars when 
old enough, who would afford protection in times of 


trouble and who in return expected service and loyal 
support in his own need. Du Plessis' kindred, on both 
sides, were wealthy enough and important enough to 
stand in no such dependence. M. Le Ronne writing in 
1924 thus describes the family estate: " The village of 
Buhy is situated on a small plateau a mile and a half from 
the river Epte. Little valleys border it on every side, 
woods and fields are pleasantly mingled and beautiful 
views can be seen in various directions. The Chateau 
and home farm stood in a vast park, enclosed with a 
wall and the high road from Paris to Rouen runs along 
outside the northern wall. Two deep ditches, known as 
' sauts de loup ', can still be traced, bordered with 
parapets of hewn stone, held in place at either end by 
square pillars flanked with pilasters. At the western 
angle of this wall a strong bastion can still be seen, 
standing square above the high road 30 ft. and more high. 
A terrace runs along its top from whence there is a 
wide view of the country. A little belvedere formerly 
crowned this bastion. A large chapel once stood at 
the side of the chateau which was known as the 
Huguenots' preaching house. Chapel and castle and farm 
have all been pulled down, the trees felled and the park 
is used for farm lands and grazing." 

The chateau lasted till 1842. The only record left of 
it is a charming picture of the gatehouse leading to the 
main courtyard. It shows the entrance to a strongly 
fortified mansion, stone built in the fine stone of the 
Vexin, with wonderful high-pitched roof, dormer 
windows and flanking towers, and arched gateway leading 
to the ' cour d'honneur '. Such a gatehouse must have 
belonged to a chateau of great spaciousness and beauty, 
where the Sieur de Buhy could have lived in pleasant 
state, welcoming his friends, educating his children and 
showing himself generous to the poor, as his daughter- 
in-law relates. He would seem to have filled his house 
very full. A house in the sixteenth century was more 
elastic than a modern one. The fact that so little store 








uj o 


u. £ 

o t 






was set on privacy and still less on ventilation must have 
made crowding a house to overflowing a simple matter. 
The house of a country gentleman like the Sieur de Buhy 
would have many rooms but no passages and the privacy 
of a bedroom would only exist behind the curtains of the 
bed. The lady of the house had a room to sit in apart, 
but more likely than not this would be the room in which 
her bed stood. Receiving friends while abed was the 
habit for two hundred years after du Plessis' death. 
Tallemant de Rdaux somewhere mentions the six dressing 
gowns a gentleman of fashion needed in the 17th century 
some 60 years later ; a summer and a winter one both 
for town and country life, a fine one for receiving visitors 
and a black one when a dun came to call. The hall was 
the common living room ; in it was placed the wide 
family hearth under its great hooded chimney, stone 
fashioned and carved with the family arms ; there on 
either side, as so many old paintings show, stood the 
arm-chairs for the lord and lady, roomy and stiff and 
carved. Of furniture there was no great store. Solid 
tables for dining were just replacing the earlier trestle 
tables ; large chests, carved, or inlaid in the foreign 
fashion learnt in the Italian wars, held the household 
gear and served for seats ; smaller chests made both 
stools to sit on and little tables for occasional use. Italy 
also taught the use of sideboard and cabinet but at the 
time of du Plessis' boyhood neither were in common use. 
However, well-to-do folk like the de Mornays, a family 
moreover of some culture, may well have furnished 
their chateau with something of luxury and refinement. 
When Erasmus visited England early in the 16th century 
he commented on the insular habit of strewing rushes on 
the floors where they lay for weeks and harboured all 
sorts of filth. From the disgust he expresses it may be 
inferred that French floors were free from such encum- 
brances, as probably they were in English houses of 
equal standing with the chateau at Buhy. Chateaux 
were almost invariably built round a courtyard, or if 


round three sides only, with a defensive wall on the 
fourth and often, as at Buhy, with a fine gatehouse and 
fortified gateway. Montaigne mentions how often the 
peasants drove their cattle into safety in his fortified 
courtyard during the civil wars. Kitchen and stables 
and storerooms, quarters for the lower domestics, some- 
times byres and the pigeon-house all formed part of the 
whole edifice. Servants were numerous in such a house- 
hold as that at Buhy. The lord had his valets, the lady 
her women and the children their nurses and their 
tutor. The Sieur de Buhy kept his ' equipage ' and his 
wife had her coach. There were lands and farms to 
manage and bailiffs and clerks employed for the work. 
When du Plessis went to school in Paris he was escorted 
by enough armed serving-men to ensure his safety on the 
road. When to all these are added the kitchen and 
stable workers and so forth it can readily be seen that the 
household was complicated and numerous. The writer 
of the memoirs tells us that Mile, de Buhy, her mother- 
in-law, was noted for her excellent management and that 
her husband left everything in her care on his death. 
She was then but twenty- nine after twelve years of 
married life. 

It will strike the modern reader as strange that the lady 
was styled Mademoiselle after as before her marriage, and 
the use of the title needs a word in passing. The general 
use of Madame to designate a married woman dates only 
from the 17th century and even then it came slowly into 
use. In earlier days the title was reserved for ladies of a 
certain rank somewhat as ' Lady ' is used in England. 
These favoured few were the wives of ' les grands ', of 
the princes of the blood, semi-sovereign princes, Marshals 
of France, certain of the highest nobility, and of the 
chevaliers des ordres ; also the King's daughters and 
abbesses and prioresses ; all these could claim the title of 
Madame. For other women, whether noble or bour- 
geoise, wed or single, Mademoiselle was the only title in 
use. But whereas in the case of a bourgeoise the husband's 


or the father's family name followed the title the noble- 
woman would almost certainly have made use of a 
territorial name. Montaigne protested against the habit. 
" It is a vile habit and one fraught with evil for France 
for people to be called after their estates, and one that 
occasions more confusion of families than any other 
thing. A cadet of good family, who receives as his portion 
an estate, whose name he bears with credit, cannot 
abandon it with honour. Ten years after his death the 
land passes to a stranger, who in his turn bears the 

Montaigne felt the loss of the hereditary honour which 
could cling round a name handed^down from generation 
to generation, but he also felt the confusion which arose 
from the habit he condemns. Every child, girls as well 
as boys, might bear a different name and much of the 
significance of events in history may be lost by those who 
fail to realize relationships through the maze of names. 
In England the eldest son of a peer may bear, by courtesy, 
some secondary title belonging to his father ; his brothers 
will use the family surname. In France not only great 
noblemen, like the Constable Montmorenci, whose five 
sons were known as Montmorenci, Damville, Montberan, 
Meru and de Thore, but the sons of every little squire 
with a small property or two to divide was known by a 
different name Thus in the Mornay family the eldest 
son was de Buhy, the second du Plessis Marly the third 
de Beaunes ; their uncle was d'Aubleville and his son 
Villarceaux, and so on throughout the whole nobility of 
France. And furthermore, as Montaigne complains, 
should the property pass into other hands the name 
went with it and the nobles saw springing up a new class 
of rich bourgeois proprietors ' roturiers ' who bought the 
right to use the name along with the territory to which it 
belonged. One other point is worth calling attention to. 
On marriage an Englishwoman loses her maiden name and 
henceforth in legal signatures as in common parlance uses 
only her husband's surname. An old traveller in England 


noticed this as one of the peculiarities of the subjection 
of a woman to her husband. " Wives," he says, " are 
entirely in the power of their husbands, their lives only 
excepted. Therefore when they marry they give up the 
surname of their father and take the surnames of their 
husbands." In France this is not so. A woman never 
loses her father's surname and signs with it, at least in 
all legal documents, after as before marriage. Mile, de 
Buhy was Madeleine de Bee Crespin till her death, 
just as du Plessis' wife was Charlotte d'Arbaleste when- 
ever she signed a letter, in spite of her first marriage 
to de Feuqueres and her second to du Plessis. 

When Philippe de Mornay was eight years old his 
father decided it was time he went to college in Paris, 
and this would seem to be a common age when the home 
tutor, or the tuition of the village curate was changed for 
school life. In families where a tutor was engaged it was 
the habit, as at Buhy, for his lessons to be shared by nephews 
and cousins as well as sons. Boys learnt to read and write 
and the rudiments of latin at home ; while their sisters 
certainly learnt to read and write at least. A choice was 
then open. They could be sent to a school, sometimes to 
a convent ; they might be placed in a College for junior 
students in a University town, or they might be boarded 
in a private family with a few other boys, often relatives 
of their own. If either of the two last alternatives was 
chosen the scholars attended University classes for juniors. 
But if school teaching was less desired than a knowledge 
of the ways of the world, or if poverty made the cost of 
education a difficulty a further alternative existed ; they 
could be placed in the house of some great nobleman with 
whom the boy's family was in some fashion connected, 
there to be educated as a page. Often a child combined 
both ; went to college till he was twelve or so and 
then entered a family as a page. A lad without money 
gave his services in return for board, a certain amount of 
instruction and sometimes clothing, though he might 
" go barefoot for want of new stockings " as one such 


page records ; they had no other surveillance than that 
of some official in the household. But the sons of richer 
men were accompanied by their own tutor and valet. 
The Marshal Vielleville gives a lively account of his 
pagehood. " In accordance with the excellent custom of 
placing boys as pages I was brought up as an enfant 
d'honneur in the household of Madame Louise de Savoie, 
mother to the King Francois I and regent of France. 
But I was only with her for four years on account of an 
accident which chanced. . . . One day a gentleman 
gave me a box on the ear as I was serving at my mistress's 
dinner. The repast over I went in search of this gentle- 
man, who was, I learnt, the first maitre cThotel, and press- 
ing him for satisfaction I ran him through the body. 
This bit of ill-luck befell me in my 18th year. My 
conduct was not held to be wrong by the principal nobles 
and particularly the King himself, who could not approve 
of a maitre d'hotel striking his enfants d'bonneur, more 
especially those who had tutors of their own to whom 
complaint could be made and who could inflict chastise- 
ment. His Majesty sent for me, intending to present me 
to the Queen Mother to sue her for pardon, for it was 
thought the maitre d'hotel was dead. However I had 
already fled the Court." The youthful Vielleville had 
money and his own tutor and went to Court as a page as 
the surest way to rise in the world. La Noue, in his 
" Discours," gives another side to the picture. " Poverty 
often obliges the poorer gentry to place their children as 
pages, wherever they can, quite as much to get rid of the 
burden of their keep as to have them educated. It is 
notorious that there are a multitude of nobles with no 
more than 700 or 800 livres yearly income who have four 
or five boys growing up round the family hearth. I ask 
you what else they can do but beg their richer neighbours 
to give them board and instruction. Thence arises a very 
strict obligation, both from father and child, to him who 
shows them this kindness. The great nobles in every 
province owe this honourable assistance to their poorer 



neighbours." The son of one of these poorer gentry has 
left the following account of his education, during the 
course of which he seems to have pursued most of the 
possible ways of learning. Jean Mergey says : " I was the 
fourteenth child of my parents of whom four survived. 
At the age of eight my mother sent me to college where I 
stayed two years. She then put me in the monastery of 
Moustierender, where I would not stop, not wishing to 
become a monk. She sent me next to live with M. de 
Polizy, bailli of Troyes, head of the house of Dinteville, 
a personage as accomplished and as highly adorned with 
every virtue and learning as any man of his age and birth, 
who had been tutor to the Duke of Orleans and the 
King's ambassador in England. He had become paralysed 
and incapable of all movement and not being fit any 
longer for a court life he retired to his own house and 
amused himself with building his beautiful house at 
Polisy. He took such a fancy to me that he gave himself 
infinite trouble to teach me all the learning that I was 
capable of at my tender age. I stayed with him till I 
was fourteen or fifteen, when he gave me to his brother, 
a chevalier de Vordre, and captain of 50 men-at-arms, so 
that I might learn to mix in the world and be trained in 
arms." A very complete education is here described. 
First school, then a monastery, next a comfortable home 
with a learned and wealthy man followed by an excellent 
introduction to the real sphere of a young gentleman — 
war and court. 

As to what the colleges were like to which these 
children of eight years old were sent, some knowledge can 
be gained from Montaigne. In his essay on an Institution 
des en/ants he sets out to describe the ideal school, that 
elusive quarry of educationalists for centuries past. But 
although his object is to construct a new kind of school 
he incidentally describes by comparison the pedagogic 
system then in vogue, and we can thus reconstruct 
schools as they then existed both from what he recom- 
mends as well as from what he condemns. He urges 


that teachers should no longer pour learning into their 
pupils as vats are filled with wine ; he pleads for attention 
to a child's individual tastes ; that the pupil should be 
allowed the pleasure of discovery in the world of know- 
ledge ; that mere parrot repetition of words was not 
enough but that by questions the learner's knowledge 
should be tested. His curiosity was to be roused by his 
surroundings and his interest excited by " a building, a 
fountain, a man, an ancient battle-field, a place where 
Caesar or Charlemagne had passed." All hours and all 
places could serve for lesson time but a lesson time in 
happiness and freedom. " I would not imprison a boy 
or hand him over to the ill-temper and sulkiness of an 
angry schoolmaster. I would not destroy his mind by 
misery and toil as others do for fourteen or fifteen hours 
a day. How often have I seen men brutalized by greedi- 
ness for knowledge." Above all in Montaigne's school 
strict kindness was to be the unalterable rule. " Instead 
of being invited to learn children meet with nothing but 
horror and cruelty. If you would have a child dread 
shame and punishment do not make him hardened to 
them. I have always hated the way our schools are 
disciplined. So soon as the teachers begin their lessons 
you hear nothing but cries, children ill-treated, masters 
beside themselves with rage. What a way to awaken the 
love of learning in these timid little souls. . . . How 
much better to strew their class-rooms with flowers and 
leaves than with bloodstained canes." 

Montaigne not only depicts the too common scenes of 
brutality in schools ; he has his say also on the study of 
the classics, but this is not because he undervalued Latin 
but because he disliked both the way it was taught and 
its exclusion of all other subjects. He himself learnt, he 
says, to speak Latin as his baby tongue for his father 
engaged a learned German doctor to be his nurse ; one 
cannot say tutor to a baby who could not yet speak. 
When he went to school at the age of six he could read 
the fairy tales of Ovid much more readily than the 


interminable romances of Lancelot du Lac and Amadis de 
Gaul, and greatly preferred them. There was, however, 
much to be said in defence of the time spent over Latin 
and Greek. French literature in the 16th century was 
limited in comparison to the wealth of the classic writers 
and boyish minds were better occupied with ^Eneas than 
with Amadis. The trouble lay rather in the use to which 
the classics were put, in the remorseless study of grammar 
and endless repetition of words. Mathematics in their 
modern sense, were just evolving, and arithmetic, easy to 
the traditional 4th form schoolboy of our time was still 
a cumbersome and obscure science. 

When Philippe de Mornay and Charlotte d'Arbaleste 
first met at S£dan, refugees from the massacre of St 
Bartholomew, they studied arithmetic together and fell 
in love as they studied. But between du Plessis' school- 
days in Paris and this meeting he had made the grand 
tour and studied both at Heidelburg and Padua. Maybe 
he had learnt mathematics at the latter place, as well as 
law, fencing and the science of herbs which he says he 
studied. Since du Plessis' chances of church preferment 
were hopeful his education was so shaped as to fit him 
for the priesthood. His school years however were full 
of interruptions. Civil wars, his father's death, ill-health, 
attempts at conversion, the outbreak of plague all inter- 
fered with his studies, but in the end his dogged deter- 
mination and application made a noted scholar of him. 
In a disputation to which he was challenged at the close 
of his student days in Paris he was able to quote Greek, 
Latin and Hebrew writers, to argue on Plato and more 
than hold his own in theology. 

Political and Religious Parties 

It has been, said that du Plessis' school-days were con- 
stantly interrupted in various ways but above all by " Les 
troubles ", the civil wars, which broke out again and 
again after the death of Henri II in 1559. These wars, 
though commonly spoken of as wars of religion, were 
extremely complex in their origin, and to attribute them 
solely to the antagonism of Catholic and Protestant is 
profoundly misleading. Their origin, indeed, was as 
complex and as confused as their campaigns, and the 
quarrel of creeds, although always a serious element, was 
often used as a mere means to further the political and 
personal hatreds of " les grands ". Nor can these civil 
wars in France be dissociated from the general con- 
dition of Western Europe, where on all sides similar 
conditions of discord prevailed. In 1560 Philip of 
Spain was on the threshold of his long struggle with the 
Netherlands ; Elizabeth of England scarce yet knew 
whether she ruled a protestant or catholic kingdom ; 
Scotland was in the thick of its religious struggle ; 
Germany was divided between lutheran and catholic 
states ; Geneva was in the plenitude of its influence, 
sending preachers forth on every side to spread the 
doctrine of Calvin. Following on the same lines, though 
with the modifications natural to the lapse of time, these 
conditions, both within and without France, continued 
through all the active years of du Plessis' life. Religious 
conflict confused with political and personal ambitions, 
revenges and triumphs ; party leaders drawn from the 
same families ; parties themselves made up of the same 
mingling of principles, discontents, lawful aspirations and 
lawless greeds, these were the outstanding features of 


French life from 1560 to 1598. On the death of Henri 
II all the elements of strife were ready. The struggle 
between France and the Empire, begun by Francois I, 
came to an end in 1558. Soldiers, largely of the noble 
class, without employment, without any outlet for 
ambition, often without any means of subsistence, 
swarmed over France. To fight and to plunder, was 
often all life had taught them. France at peace might 
literally mean starvation for some and these men were 
ready for any war and any leader. Others on their 
return home followed the movement towards the 
reformed faith already begun by their wives and these, 
angered by the persecution under Henri II, became more 
and more, ready to vindicate by violence their right to 
worship as they pleased. Others who believed that 
heresy was pure damnation, were equally ready to fight 
for its extirpation. And apart from these three classes, 
the soldier who cared only for fighting and for what he 
could win out of fighting, the huguenot who was ready 
to fight for freedom of worship and the catholic who was 
equally ready to fight to extirpate heresy, there was a 
vast number of families who still felt an almost feudal 
dependence on a house of greater importance than their 
own ; a house where the sons had been educated as 
pages, whose banner they had followed to war, from 
whose patronage they had won position and money and 
whose protection they felt bound to repay with their 
service and support. All these elements among the 
noble class were there, out of which armies could be 
formed so soon as ' les grands ', the Bourbon Princes, the 
Guises and the Montmorencis with their host of allied 
families, fell to strife among themselves. 

Throughout du Plessis' childhood a great change had 
been going on apart from the change from war to peace. 
Since Francoise du Bee, with her lutheran learning, had 
first come to Buhy the early movement towards reform, 
mainly catholic and very largely literary, had developed 
into a much deeper movement. Some of those who had 


stayed a while in Marguerite d'Angouldme's little court 
or who had been protected by her in her husband's 
principality of Beam, had passed on to Geneva. One of 
them, Calvin, was to change the whole aspect of the 
French reformation. It is true that Briconnet the 
Bishop of Meaux had had many followers among the 
townsfolk, traders and artisans who learnt to read the 
Gospel in Lefevre's translation, but with the new creed 
and the new preachers from Geneva the movement 
towards reform spread rapidly through the towns and 
especially in Normandy. Southern France, where the 
neglect of the catholic clergy was notorious, became 
largely calvinist both in town and country. While Henri 
II lived worship was held in secret, a cellar, a barn or a 
' basse cour ' serving the worshippers' needs who came 
together quietly by night. Still the numbers grew, out- 
stripping the persecution although that was savage 
enough, and with numbers came greater boldness. But 
persecution did not excite revolt. There was nothing in 
the protestant creed to teach contempt for authority or 
to dispute the King's power. Calvin, from Geneva, 
preached the duty of unresisting martyrdom. " If a 
single drop of blood is spilt " (in resistance), he wrote, 
" rivers of it will flow. It is better a hundredfold that 
we perish than that the Christian faith and the Gospel 
should be laid open to blame." But even Calvin would 
sanction resistance if the authority of the persecutors 
could be called in question. Out of this question of 
authority came the huguenot justification for the civil 
wars. When in 1585 Henri of Navarre defeated the 
royal army at the battle of Coutras he wrote to the King, 
Henri III, " Sire, we have beaten your army and your 
enemies." Henri of Navarre, heir to the throne, 
fighting against the army of the League, might rightly 
use the phrase. In 1560, when his uncle Louis, Prince de 
Cond£, first pleaded his right to resist and swept into his 
own private quarrel the bulk of the huguenots, it was a 
very different matter. 


Henri II at his death left four boys, the eldest of whom 
was fifteen. Those who stood nearest to them in blood 
were the Bourbons, of whom the chiefs were Antoine 
King of Navarre, through his marriage with Jeanne 
d'Albret, Charles Cardinal de Bourbon, and Louis 
Prince de Conde\ Antoine was of small account, a king 
without a kingdom, shifting his religion as he thought 
his own interests might best be served, trusted by no 
party, ignored by the Court. Indeed his principal claim 
to remembrance lies in the fact that he was father to 
Henri de Navarre, afterwards Henri IV of France. 
Charles, the Cardinal, played no important part either, 
until in his old age he was used as a pawn in the struggle 
of the Guises with his nephew. The Prince de Condi's 
claim to remembrance is greater. A cadet of a family 
which, although it stood nearest to the throne was not in 
favour at Court, he possessed neither the wealth nor the 
importance to which he felt he was entitled by his birth. 
The Bourbon direct descent from a royal ancestor was 
remote and at no time had the position of the Princes of 
the blood been well defined. When Francois II a scended 
the throne he was not a minor although little able to 
rule for himself. Antoine and his brother as his nearest 
relatives claimed the first places in his council but they 
were set aside contemptuously enough, by the Duke and 
Cardinal de Guise, uncles to the young King's wife, 
Mary Stuart. Antoine followed his usual futile course ; 
Conde promoted a conspiracy, whose leaders were 
huguenots and their associates a rabble of soldiers. The 
Prince pleaded in justification that the Princes of the 
blood had a lawful claim to authority and that the 
_Guises were usurpers in the King's name. This con- 
spiracy ended in a massacre in the name of justice. 
After a second somewhat similar attempt Conde, who was 
himself a huguenot, having escaped with his life found 
his best guarantee for safety among the growing party 
of the reformers. Henceforward the cause of the 
Huguenots was inextricably interwoven with the ambi- 


tions of the Bourbons and out of the alliance emerged 
the religious character of the civil wars. 

In direct and immediate opposition to the Bourbon 
princes stood the two Guise brothers, Francois, the Duke 
de Guise, and Louis, the Cardinal de Lorraine. The 
Guises were of the house of Lorraine and thus far foreigners 
to France ; their mother, however, was a Bourbon and 
aunt to Antoine, King of Navarre and to the Prince de 
Conde\ The family possessions were also French, scat- 
tered mainly over the north of France and its various 
members could boast of great titles and great wealth. 
The Cardinal was reputed to receive 300,000 livres a 
year from his church benefices. Their sister was regent 
of Scotland and their niece Queen of France. Their 
unshaken Catholicism marked them out as leaders of the 
extreme catholics in France while in foreign politics it 
naturally led them to friendship with Spain and antag- 
onism to Elizabeth and protestant England. In regard 
to the nobility of France their position was curious. They 
were never entirely accepted as Frenchmen nor, as the 
civil wars continued, did this feeling lessen. Duke 
Francois was content to use an almost regal power through 
the boy king, Francois II, but his son, Duke Henri, created 
and dominated the League with the intention of practi- 
cally, if not actually, ousting Henri III from the throne, 
and of undoubtedly preventing the succession of Henri 
de Navarre. Twenty years of civil war had embittered 
hatreds, crystallized ambitions and had widened the 
gap between the family of Guise and those French nobles 
who were neither extreme catholics nor bound to the 
house of Lorraine by personal ties. 

In 1560 these nobles were united under the Conndtable 
de Montmorenci in opposition to the Guises and though, 
after the attempts of Conde to assume control of the 
kingdom during the minority of Charles IX, the Conndt- 
able patched up his quarrel with the Guises to better 
pursue his quarrel with Cond£, yet the bulk of his party 
refused to follow him. Many of those who had supported 


him were huguenots, such as the Rochefoucaulds, 
Chatillons, Turennes and Rohans, all names which recur, 
though often in the next generation, throughout the 
civil wars. On Montmorenci's desertion these threw in 
their lot with Conde. But apart from those who fol- 
lowed the Connetable and merged themselves in the 
party of the Guises, and those who helped to give the 
party of the Princes of the blood its peculiar character of 
protestantism there remained a very large body of men 
who believed, above all things, in the unity of France and 
could realize that the nation's unity need not depend on 
its uniformity, who could, even while pursuing personal 
ambitions, see that such ambitions must have their 
foundations in a kingdom at peace under a king strong 
enough to rule. From these men arose the third and 
only enduring party in the state, " les Politiques ". In 
spite of the Constable's defection as its leader, the great 
family, the vast possessions and the almost princely 
power of the Montmorencis remained the dominating 
influence in this party, always opposed to the disrupting 
policy of the Guises but never espousing the cause of the 
Bourbons until it was merged in the cause of Henri de 
Navarre's legitimate succession to the throne of France. 

Of the leaders of these three parties in 1560 none long 
survived. Francois, Duke de Guise, was assassinated in 
1563, the Conndtable fell in the battle of St Denis in 
1567, and Louis, Prince de Conde, was killed, a prisoner 
of war, after the battle of Jarnac in 1569. But the 
parties remained. Henri, Duke de Guise, the two Henris 
de Bourbon, Navarre and Conde and Francois de Mont- 
morenci stepped into the vacant places and the old strife 
embittered by personal blood feuds went on. It may be 
wondered what was the part played by the Crown both 
in the early and in the later civil wars ; in those which so 
disturbed the young du Plessis' school days as well as in 
those in which he fully bore his share for more than 
twenty years. 

In 1560 Francois II died, and the government passed 


from the Guises to the Queen mother, Cath erine di 
Medici. In writing to her daughter, the Queen of 
Spain, she showed how well she understood the difficulties 
before her. " God took the King, your father, from me 
and not content with that He has taken your brother, and 
has left me with three little boys and a kingdom torn 
asunder and without a soul in whom I can really trust 
who is free from some personal ambition." Charles IX, 
the new king, was a delicate child of ten. Between the 
Bourbons, who claimed the regency, the Guises and the 
Conn^table it was Catherine's ambition to hold the 
balance in such a way that the real power might remain 
in her own hands. By nature and training she was not 
unfitted for the task. Brought up in the Italy of the 
renaissance and educated in the " new learning " she 
could take her place in the intellectual life of her century. 
She read and she wrote much ; few in her court could 
show as wide a knowledge of the chronicles of France, or, 
indeed, cling more tenaciously to their lessons on the 
glories of its kings ; and still fewer can have been so 
prolific a letter-writer both on private and on x State 
affairs. She saw that her children, girls as well as boys, 
were well educated. Brantome, whose flattery does not 
err in delicacy, having said all he could of the beauty of 
Catherine's youngest child, Marguerite, turns his praise 
on to her learning and describes how easily she followed 
the Latin harangue of the Polish bishop of Cracow and 
how " pertinently and how eloquently " she answered in 
the same tongue. As a true Italian and a Medici 
Catherine encouraged a taste for plays, both tragedy and 
comedy, for gorgeous ballets and for masquerades. 
" She even took great pleasure in Zany and Pantaloon 
and laughed her fill at them like anyone else," says 
Brantome again ; and like those of her time she mightily 
enjoyed good solid feasting. As a young woman she was 
an enthusiastic hunter and her love of riding lasted till 
old age in spite of more than one serious fall. On her 
frequent journeys about France she might tire her 


courtiers and her horses but not herself. And yet with 
all her many active occupations she loved to pass her 
afternoons with her needle " busy with her silks in which 
work she excelled." In her early years at the French 
Court, and she came to it when she was little more than a 
child, she had had to win her way to the respect of the 
nobles who held her " bourgois " ancestry of small 
account. She succeeded with consummate skill and few 
queens ruled their courts more absolutely than did 
Catherine hers in her later years. That she often achieved 
success by intrigue and duplicity is true enough, but 
possibly cajolery was her best weapon against the violence 
around her. She was mistress of its arts but she also did 
much by her " patience and kindliness in trying to see 
every one's point of view," and, " her indefatigable 
ardour with which she would receive all sorts of people, 
listen to what they had to say and be as polite to them as 
they could possibly desire." The fact that she had n o 
real interest in religion, .. no special policy for France 
apart from the advancement and security of her family 
made her tolerant, almost indifferent to the turmoil of 
creeds and parties around her. As a Medici, nearly 
related to two popes, she was faithful to the papacy but 
it was rather to the pope as the fountain of all authority 
than as the head of a creed, for Catherine's faith may be 
said to have consisted in a profound belief in authority. 
So long as the professors of the reformed religion kept 
themselves apart from politics and parties and behaved 
" modestly " she had no wish " to hurt the poor creatures 
who went to martyrdom as to a marriage feast." She 
made L'Hopital her chancellor, a man who had long been 
in the service of Catherine's most intimate friend, the 
Huguenot Duchess of Savoy, and L'Hopital's most pro- 
found conviction was that " gentleness profits more than 
rigour. Let us give up the use of those devilish words, 
those names of parties, factions and seditions, lutheran, 
huguenot, papist ; let us never drop the name of 
Christian." Catherine, in the first year of her regency, 


granted a large measure of liberty of conscience and 
worship in response to the very general request of the 
Third Estate, in the meeting of the Etats General in 1560. 
In consequence the Huguenot churches grew apace and 
with their growth came an increasing boldness and a loss 
of that " modesty and respect for authority " which alone 
justified them in Catherine's eyes. The adhesion of many 
of them to the party of the Bourbons did much to change 
her natural tendency to tolerance, not because she cared 
more for Catholicism than heretofore but because the 
Huguenot nobles became an element of political dis- 
turbance, a party, not a faith. As such they immediately 
clashed with the conception of a state as it presented 
itself to Catherine. 

She was not the only one among the kings and queens 
of her time to regar d the kingdom as a family possessi on, 
but where Philip of Spain and Elizabeth of England could 
also regard their realms as something larger and more 
intangible, something which claimed as well as owed 
duty and devotion, Catherine never rose above a clever, 
scheming, indefatigable mother with more children than 
she quite knew how to provide for in the exalted way 
fitting to their birth. Of her ten children seven lived to 
grow up. Francois, Charles and Henri were all kings of 
France in turn. Alencon, so often mentioned in du 
Plessis' memoirs, she did her utmost to marry to Elizabeth 
of England. Her daughter Elizabeth was Philip IPs 
third wife, and died in time to let him marry a fourth ; 
Marguerite, the youngest, was married most unwill- 
ingly to Henri de Navarre, a childless marriage which 
began in the tragedy of massacre and ended in a de- 
claration of nullity 27 years later. Of all her children 
Claude, Duchess of Lorraine, alone seems to have been 
reasonably healthy and happy. Yet Catherine toiled 
ungrudgingly for her children, toiled with a real love of 
work as well as of power such as often comes to vigorous 
women in later life. She probably thought that only 
the delicate health of Francois, Charles, Elizabeth and 


Alencon was to blame for her failure. It lay rather in her 
complete indifference to all things save as they affected 
her children's success. She could be tolerant, with the 
tolerance of indifference, to Huguenots when the power 
of the Guises thwarted her ; could turn to the Guises 
again when Conde and the Huguenots made common 
cause ; could pretend to favour the plans of Coligny 
against Spain when she hoped to induce the Queen of 
England to marry one of her sons, and agree to Coligny's 
murder when he threatened her control over Charles. 
Still further she could see in the great massacre of the 
Saint Bartholomew merely an easy way to rid France of 
civil war by murdering the leaders of one party. And 
because only her own family and herself mattered, with 
all her statecraft, all her labour and all her devotion as a 
mother the ruin of France was the fruit she gathered. 
Three of her sons died, childless, before her, and Henri, 
her favourite, was assassinated within a year of her death. 
His successor was Henri de Navarre, a king whose kingdom 
was given over to civil war and whose capital was in the 
hands of his fiercest enemies, a king without money or 
credit and whose very title was disputed, but one to whom 
had been given the power to see France as something 
immeasurably greater than a family possession. 

Friends and Travels 

Du Plessis spent the years between the spring of 1567 
and the summer of 1572 in travelling. He set out 
during a brief lull in the civil war between Conde* and the 
Catholic party ; he returned to France charged with 
information, gathered in England and the Low Countries, 
at a moment when the control of Charles IX seemed to 
be passing from the Queen Mother to Coligny. If this 
were to prove more than seeming it meant that Catherine's 
favourite policy of peace with Spain would change to the 
Huguenot policy of active assistance for the Netherlanders 
against Philip. It was a great moment for the Pro- 
testant party and Coligny welcomed the young traveller, 
fresh from intercourse with the leaders of revolt in the 
Low Countries, as a person of real importance. A few 
weeks later Coligny was assassinated and du Plessis a 
fugitive from the massacre of St Bartholomew. The 
horror of those terrible days in August must have com- 
pleted the work of the five years of travel and study and 
left du Plessis a man well fitted to play his part in a very 
troubled world. 

By the middle of the 16th century, when du Plessis' 
student days were over, a tour to complete a young 
gentleman's education was beginning to be the fashion. 
Something more than the mediaeval scholar's restricted 
way of passing from University to University was sought. 
It was not enough to study law at Heidelberg and 
Bologna, Greek at Bale, theology at Paris, mathematics at 
Padua ; nor even to frequent this last city's famous 
riding and fencing schools, where Montaigne found more 
than a hundred young Frenchmen at one time. The 
young noble, travelling with his tutor, visited courts, 

3 2 


looked at antiquities and famous battle-fields, studied 
diplomacy and men and manners. Du Plessis at eighteen 
was exceptionally well qualified to benefit by such a tour. 
In Latin he possessed a tongue still common to all 
scholars ; he was well educated, greedy for knowledge, 
and above all filled with an ardent desire to fit himself to 
take his share of work in the world. No better prepara- 
tion could have been devised than the frequent move- 
ment through fresh scenes and of intercourse with fresh 
men alternating with periods of hard study at different 
University towns. 

But it was to the friendships which he formed with 
men of established reputations in scholarship and public 
life, far his seniors, that he owed most. At Heidelberg 
he lived with Tremelius and studied Hebrew with him 
while teaching himself German, from books, he says, 
rather than by conversation because it was so difficult to 
avoid drinking too much if one conversed with Germans. 
At Frankfort he met Hubert Languet, a scholar and 
diplomatist of high reputation, whose character is 
revealed in all its charm in his letters to another young 
scholar, the English student, Philip Sidney. Languet 
was one of those men who possess the rare power of 
attracting and appreciating men very much their 
juniors, as his friendship with du Plessis and Sidney 
testifies. Both justified the estimate he formed of them 
while they were still hardly more than boys, and both 
remained on terms of close intimacy with him till his 
death. Mile, du Plessis wrote, " M. Languet is like a 
father to us," while Sidney in his letters calls him " Most 
dear Hubert ", Languet has been thought to be the 
author of the celebrated pamphlet, "Vindiciae contra 
tyrannos," which, as Professor Laski says, was certainly 
written by du Plessis himself. The younger and the 
elder man were such close friends that Languet may well 
have had some part, even if an indirect one, in the com- 
position of the treatise. Both were involved in the 
massacre of St Bartholomew, the horror of which roused 


a spirit in all protestants very different to the doctrine of 
submission to authority taught by Calvin. And Sidney 
was also in Paris in those terrible days in the house of 
Walsingham, the English Ambassador. It was Walsing- 
ham who saved Languet on the plea that he was acting 
as envoy from the Elector of Saxony ; and it was 
Walsingham who wrote to England and to Germany to 
ensure a welcome and friends for the fugitive du Plessis 
wherever he might shelter. Whether the friendship 
between Sidney and du Plessis began at the English 
Ambassador's house cannot be known ; that they were 
intimate later is very certain. Du Plessis had few 
warmer friends than Walsingham and Sidney whilst he 
was living in England, and Sidney stood godfather to his 
eldest daughter. When years later news of Sidney's 
death reached him he wrote to Walsingham : " I have had 
troubles and labours enough in these sad days but none 
that touched me to the heart so nearly." 

Another lasting friendship made on his travels was 
with du Ferrier, ambassador from the French Court in 
Venice. Du Ferrier was a catholic with a strong pre- 
disposition to protestantism, and du Plessis, always 
ardent in theological discussion, doubtless did something 
to bring about the older man's conversion although its 
public avowal was long delayed. Both du Plessis and 
du Ferrier were living at the Court of Navarre, associated 
in the management of the tangled finances of Navarre, 
when the event long hoped for by du Plessis took place. 
A letter remains in which du Plessis vehemently urges 
the old man of eighty to " vanquish the world " and make 
the most public profession possible in a noted church 
and before a great congregation. " In past years God 
asked of us martyrdom ; now He only asks confession . . . 
you have a high reputation in many countries so that it 
is fitting that the light God has given you should shine 
around you." Had du Plessis the story of Victorinus in 
mind as told in the vivid words of St Augustine? Age 
and bashfulness were not pleaded by the Roman as an 



excuse to avoid " the elevated place " where the profes- 
sion of faith was made. " When he went up . . . there 
ran a low murmur through the mouths of the rejoicing 
multitude ' Victorinus ! Victorinus ! ' Sudden was the 
burst of rapture. Suddenly were they hushed that they 
might hear him. . . ." But " a natural shyness " over- 
powered the old Frenchman and he found public con- 
fession too near to martyrdom. It was a great dis- 
appointment to his ardent friend. Yet another learned 
man with whom du Plessis consorted during a long stay 
in Cologne was Petrus Ximenes, the Spanish scholar. 
But wherever du Plessis went he sought out intercourse 
with scholars and avoided the fault for which Montaigne 
blames his countrymen. " Wherever the French go they 
keep to their own ways, and loathe foreign ones. They 
flock together and rail against all the barbarous customs 
they see. For why not barbarous since they are not 
French ? " 

Du Plessis' notes of his tour were all lost, to his wife's 
great chagrin. She records, however, much of interest 
gathered from his talk. Many other travellers went by 
the same route and it is easy to reconstruct a picture from 
the accounts left by other writers of the roads, the inns 
and the cities through which du Plessis passed. Two 
out of the many seem specially helpful. Montaigne, 
whose diary, even if written by his secretary, certainly 
describes his journey as seen through his own eyes, and 
the English student Fynes Moryson. The pages of both 
are full of quaint information on all the details of travel 
in the 16th century,- and though they both started their 
wanderings some twenty years later than du Plessis it is 
little likely that conditions had seriously altered ; it may 
increase the interest of his wife's record if something is 
done to fill the gap left by the loss of his manuscript. 
Gentlemen of birth and fortune, to which class both 
Montaigne and du Plessis belonged, travelled a-horse- 
back, attended by servants in good number and of various 
ranks, and by pack-horses to carry their baggage. Ladies 


of the same rank rode, indeed Catherine di Medici rarely 
travelled any other way, but they also had their coaches. 
Henri of Navarre, with his mind full of civil war, writes to 
ask Corisande if she needs a horse for her coach. Mile, 
du Plessis also makes mention of " my coach " when she is 
travelling, and, as if to emphasise their use, she once 
speaks of consenting to travel a-horseback rather than not 
to accompany her husband. Water transport was much 
used, not only in private boats, as when du Plessis travels, 
as a sick man up the Loire from Saumur to Tours to have 
a consultation with a well-known doctor, but by public 
boats regularly plying. Mile, du Plessis escaped from 
Paris in such a boat. Montaigne preferred riding to any 
other means of travelling but he tells how his luggage 
went on a raft between one town and another. Fynes 
Moryson, a much poorer man, made more use of water 
transport, and indeed it was common enough in countries 
north of the Alps and in northern Italy. Public coaches 
and carriers' wagons also ran in France and in England, 
and very commonly in Germany. One traveller noticed 
that the English had only two-wheeled carts, but that 
these were so strong and could carry such loads that four 
or five fine horses were needed to draw them. In 
Germany public conveyances appear to have been in 
common use. Fynes Moryson wrote to a friend : " I was 
alone with a coachful of women. It was a comedy for me 
to hear their discourse, now railing at calvinists, now 
brawling together and now with tears bewailing their 
hard fortunes." Again at Dresden he waited three days 
till enough passengers collected to fill the coach for 
Prague. But horses were certainly the gentleman's 
choice. On a long journey these were often bought and 
sold again along the road with the usual immemorial 
worry over horse - dealers. In Italy Fynes Moryson 
lamented that he had not sold a horse just before reaching 
his destination for the dealers combined to make no offers 
till the mounting cost of the animal's keep had made him 
glad to take any price. On the post-roads horses could be 


hired but the system was only carried to perfection on the 
great highways leading through Italy to Rome. Its 
convenience delighted Montaigne when he found that a 
gentleman travelling in his company could hire a horse as 
far off Rome as Siena and that all that he had to do was to 
prepay the hire and undertake to deliver the animal to a 
certain stable-keeper in Rome at the journey's end. 
The more ordinary arrangement of post-horses from 
post-inn to post-inn was common in France, Italy and 
England ; in Germany, Fynes Moryson was annoyed to 
find that he had to pay the hire of a horse back to its 
stable as well as for a man to lead it home, a considerable 
expense if a town were distant. The great main roads 
were crowded, at any rate in special localities, and it was 
usual for travellers to form themselves into groups both 
for company and security, or so that a guide or an inter- 
preter could be shared for economy's sake. Such groups 
might be strangely incongruous, as when du Plessis 
journeyed through Italy with a little band of Cordeliers 
on their way to Rome. About the state of the roads 
Montaigne says little, nor does Fynes Moryson often 
grumble. Montaigne says he found road-makers at work 
on the Brenner pass as if this were nearly as remarkable 
as the villages perched high above him on apparently 
inaccessible crags. But the Brenner was the great high- 
way between the north and Italy and was thronged with 
horsemen, carriers' wagons, merchants with their pack- 
mules, and pedestrians all moving, when Montaigne 
crossed, in " an intolerable dust ". He says nothing of 
the roads in Bavaria, but of Augsburg he says the streets 
were fine and clean. Fynes Moryson tells of the rich 
corn-land, the oak and pine, the heath of juniper and 
blackberries, and often of the morasses on either side of 
the roads he traversed in Germany but does not often 
speak of their surface. Once indeed he does describe 
how the carters and riders zigzagged along a main 
road leading to an important town to avoid falling into 
pits. Perhaps the absence of comment is due to the 


universal badness rather than to an absence of cause for 
complaint. The Pope's new road through the Apen- 
nines aroused an enthusiasm so great that it is evidence to 
the prevailing condition. Montaigne describes it as " a 
wonderfully fine affair, costly to make and of great use 
... it runs straight as an arrow beyond Spoleto . . . 
and is the finest road in the world." On approaching 
Rome he noticed " raised roads paved with very large 
paving-stones which looked ancient," as indeed they 
were. Cobbled roads he knew in France for ' pave" ' was 
already in use there. Mile, du Plessis once took her 
husband in her coach from Paris to Orleans and was so 
jolted by the cobbles that a serious illness ensued in 
which she nearly lost her life. 

After crossing the Brenner the entry in Montaigne's 
diary sums up all that can be said in the matter of sound 
sense in travelling. " All through life he had distrusted 
other people's opinions on the subject of foreign countries, 
because people liked what they were used to in their own 
home country. Here in Tyrol he marvelled still more at 
their stupidity. He had been told that crossing the 
Alps was full of difficulty, the people's manners rough, 
roads impassable, lodgings bad and climate disagreeable. 
As to the climate, if he were to take his eight-year-old 
daughter out for an airing, he would as soon bring her 
by this road as down one of his garden walks. As for 
inns he had never seen a country where they were so good, 
and so plentiful, and cheaper than elsewhere." And yet, 
in spite of Montaigne's praise, inns were strange places in 
the 1 6th century. Naturally they differed from country 
to country but certain features common to all stand out 
as peculiarly different to modern conditions. Swiss inns 
Montaigne praises for their carved wood and fine iron- 
work ; for their coloured tiles set in patterns on their 
floors and roofs ; for their roomy and well-furnished 
dining-rooms where the company sat at separate tables, 
one for each group of travellers, and where, not to his 
liking as a French noble, servants were set to eat with 


their masters. He marvelled at the way all their windows 
were glazed, as if panes of glass were not yet the rule in 
France. In Germany he admires the coloured glass in 
the windows still more, as also the way in which they 
were frequently cleaned. Yet Erasmus, in an often 
quoted passage, says of English houses many years earlier, 
that the glazing of windows in England made the rooms 
unbearably close. Perhaps northern France may have 
used glass before the warmer south adopted it. But 
much as Montaigne wondered at the glass in Switzerland 
he wondered still more at the absence of shutters which 
could be closed at night for protection against night 
dews and robbers equally. He took it as a strong proof 
of the peace and prosperity of the country, though if 
lawlessness were unknown the dangers of ' night dews ' 
still remained. The serving of meals he approved of 
and noticed that silver goblets were far more common 
than in France and that enough spoons were laid for 
every man to have one ; also that each man had a knife 
of his own. Hands were not put into dishes and plates 
as Montaigne liked to do and as was apparently usual in 
France. He owns that it is a messy habit, but then in 
France far more napkins were in use then in any other 
country and particular people had a fresh one with each 
course ; the niggardly use of table-linen was a sore 
trial to a Frenchman. In South Germany many of these 
qualities in the inns were shared with those in German 
Switzerland. The main difference lay in the habits of 
heavy drinking in Germany. Frenchmen, accustomed to 
' bien baptiser ' their wine, as they called it, were aston- 
ished at the vast capacity of Germans for unwatered 
wine and beer ; even the Englishman, Fynes Moryson, 
constantly describes the enormous quantities consumed 
as well as the excessive time spent at meals. Still 
German inns in the larger towns were good. 

Both in Switzerland and Germany the " elegant 
stoves of earthware " were found very comfortable, 
though the absence of an open French hearth, in one's 


bedroom where one's sheets could be warmed at night 
and one's shirt in the morning, worried Montaigne not 
a little. These stoves are well described by Fynes 
Moryson. " The intemperateness of the cold pressing 
great part of Germany, instead of fire they use hot stoves 
for remedy thereof, which are certain chambers having 
an earthern oven cast into them which may be heated 
with a little quantity of wood, so as it will make them 
hot who come out of the cold. They keep the doors and 
windows closely shut ; so as they using not only to 
receive gentlemen into these stoves but even to permit 
rammish clowns to stand by the oven till their wet 
clothes be dried and themselves sweat, it must needs be 
that these ill smells (and worse ones yet), never purged 
by the admitting of any fresh air, should dull the brain 
and almost choke the spirits of those who frequent the 
stoves." And yet he handsomely adds that " custom 
became another nature for I never enjoyed better 
health than in Germany." It seems a marvel that 
Montaigne could count a night in a stove as a luxury 
and yet he certainly reckoned it so on " account of its 
equable warmth ". 

The sleeping accommodation offered in contrast must, 
however, be understood. A room to oneself in an inn 
was practically unknown, rarely even a bed. Nor were 
there always separate rooms for the two sexes in the poorer 
sort of hostels. Mile, du Plessis, escaping from Paris in 
disguise, slept in a bedroom with two other women in 
one bed and their husbands and two priests in two others. 
A village inn near Dresden is thus described by Fynes 
Moryson. " Before the day starre rose I was walking in 
a meadow . . . he is soon apparelled that hath a dog's bed 
in straw ; yet the straw was clean which is no small 
favour, and when I gave the servant a Misen groshe for 
his pains he was astonished as if he had never seene a 
whole groshe before. The women, virgins, men and 
maids, servants all of us lay in one roome, and myself was 
lodged furtherest from the stove, which they did not 


from any favour, though contrary to their opinion I was 
glad of it delighting more in sweet air than the smoke of 
a dunghill." 

Even in inns that such travellers as Montaigne would 
frequent, bedrooms had often as many beds in them as 
there was floor space. In Germany, economy of space 
was carried to such a pitch that the better beds were 
raised sufficiently high to allow of a second to be made 
up under them, where a couple of travellers of the 
poorer sort could be accommodated. Montaigne rejoiced 
in the universal habit in Germany of putting a feather 
bed above as well as below the sleeper, but he complained 
of the lack of sheets and linen covers for the pillow as 
well as of canopies and curtains to keep out the cold. 
Indeed sheets were often not provided at all, or if they 
were, it was not considered necessary to provide them 
clean. Moryson was used to this, but he did object to 
occupying the bed of the innkeeper's old mother just as 
she left it " she being over ninety ". In Augsburg and 
Lindau sleeping accommodation struck both Montaigne 
and Moryson as exceptionally clean. No cobwebs or 
dirt to be seen, the floors of the sleeping chambers were 
actually washed, curtains were hung " in the French 
style ". In one place a " linen was stretched along the 
walls by the beds so that they shall not be dirtied by 
spitting." After experiencing the comfort in Augsburg 
travellers had small praise for inns in Italy. Windows 
were unglazed, or at most had oiled paper or linen 
stretched across them ; shutters were solid so that if one 
shut out sun or wind one shut out all light ; beds were so 
dirty it was sometimes best to sleep on the table ; land- 
lords, unlike the Germans, who allowed no discussion 
over prices however extortionate, had to be bargained 
with over every item, and if any item were omitted from 
the bargain it was certain to be charged at an exorbitant 
price ; while food and drink and horse feed were all less 
generous in supply than north of the Alps. Such were 
inns in Italy. 


Du Plessis continued his tour to Vienna and even into 
Hungary before he turned west through Bohemia, 
Misnia, Franconia and other states. In his memoirs 
almost nothing is said of this portion of his tour, but the 
gap can be filled by Fynes Moryson whose travels 
embraced all, and much more than all, du Plessis' tour. 
By the date when Moryson visited it Vienna was mainly 
a fortress town filled with soldiers always on guard 
against the Turk ; when du Plessis went there it was to 
share in the gay doings at Court at the Arch Duke's 
wedding. Moryson found Bohemia rich in fir forests 
and corn-land, so that bread was ' good cheap ', and 
possessing a language of its own. The houses, even in 
Prague, he found built mostly of logs and clay, and the 
capital although " encompassed with walls yet is nothing 
less than strong, and except the stench of the streets 
drive back the Turk there is small hope in the fortifica- 
tions." Misnia, which forms the main portion of 
modern Saxony, was also a corn-land with mountains 
" rich in mines especially silver ". Wittenberg, one of 
its cities famous for two Universities and memories of 
Martin Luther, was a place which no protestant student 
could neglect however far Calvinism had moved from the 
earliest reformers. Du Plessis reached Frankfort for his 
second visit in time for the September Fair, when the 
annual sale of books attracted scholars from all lands. 

It would be interesting to follow the account of 
famous cities visited by du Plessis but a tour ranging 
from Antwerp to Rome and from England to Vienna is 
too extended to follow in detail. Two cities might be 
lingered over a little while, Rome and London. Mon- 
taigne spent several months in Rome and saw it with eyes 
superlatively fitted to appreciate all its manifold aspects. 
He describes the Campagna just as a traveller of to-day 
might describe it : " Rome did not look anything very 
much as we approached. The Apennines lay to our left 
hand. The look of the country was unpleasing, hungry, 
full of deep bogs, a quite impossible country for military 


movements. It is quite treeless for ten miles round the 
city, monotonous and with scarce any houses." As at 
the entrance of all cities in Italy the custom-house was 
troublesome, but a worse annoyance than usual awaited 
a scholar at the gates of Rome. Montaigne's books were 
carried off to be examined, and not only were they 
detained for three months but some were returned with 
impertinent criticisms on their orthodoxy. Rome was 
above all a city of the Church and how a huguenot like 
du Plessis could pass through it with no worse trouble 
than he met with is a marvel. " Rome is a city where no 
one lives by the work of their hands," says Montaigne. 
" It is all court and nobility. Savoyards and men from 
the Grisons come down to work in the vineyards and 
gardens for all Rome shares in the ecclesiastic idleness." 
" There are only palaces and gardens here to admire. 
The streets and shops are no better than in some little 
town in France," nothing like the busy " Rue de la 
Harpe or the Rue St Denis in Paris, but the public places 
and palaces are much finer than these." " The town 
nowadays lies along the river on either side. The hilly 
part, where the ancient city stood and where a thousand 
walks and visits are daily paid, has few churches, and only 
a rare house, and the Cardinals' gardens scattered over 
them. He judged by plain indications that the shape of 
the hills and levels are all changed from classic times, 
and that by the height of the ruins it was certain that we 
were walking over ancient houses. It is easy to see by 
the Arch of Severus that we are more than two pikes' 
lengths above the old level. It is obvious that every- 
where one walks on the tops of walls which the rain and 
the coach-wheels lay bare." 

The gardens are but few in number now or are all 
merged in public parks, but how greatly such travellers 
as Montaigne or the young du Plessis, whose enthusiasm 
for antiquities could not be frightened by real danger, 
would have delighted in the Forum laid open for all to 


see more " than two pikes' length " below the level of 
the modern streets. 

Small mention has been made of England and yet du 
Plessis spent more time there and visited it oftener than 
even the Low Countries. This being so it is strange 
that so little information is given about it, especially 
since Mile, du Plessis herself lived in London for "eighteen 
months in great peace ". Of the Low Countries, Antwerp 
and Ghent, she is more communicative and Seemingly 
more at home there than she ever seems to have been in 
England. Since she says so little it is worth while to see 
how England, and especially London, appeared to other 
foreign visitors. Some of the most amusing accounts 
were written by Germans who doubtless saw things from 
a different angle than French people would see them. 
Still, much the same journeys were taken and the same 
things were seen. The sea journey to England was 
generally a really terrible experience with dangers from 
pirates, small ships and contrary winds all added to the 
inevitable miseries of a crossing. One traveller, late in 
the 1 6th century, records that " the merciful God looked 
down with fatherly eyes ", so that they arrived near 
Dover, sailing over the very spot where the Armada 
sank, the wrecks still strewing the beach. They were 
landed in " little boats which scudded over the impetuous 
waves and mountains of salt water " to their infinite 
terror. At Dover they took post-horses to Gravesend, 
suffering much from the small hard saddles in use in 
England, " painful to ride especially for anyone who is 
corpulent ". On reaching the river they took a small 
vessel and " embarked on the Thames, which is tolerably 
broad and in which there are many swans so tame you 
could almost touch them," were it not a crime to meddle 
with the royal birds whose down was yearly plucked for 
the Queen's use. London was found to be " a very 
populous city so that one can scarce pass along the 
streets on account of the throng. The inhabitants are 
extremely proud and overbearing and because the greater 


part, especially the tradespeople, seldom go into other 
countries but always remain in the city attending to 
their business, they care little for foreigners, but scoff at 
them. One dare not oppose them else the street boys 
collect in immense crowds and strike to right and left 
... so one is obliged to put up with the insult." After 
this description of English manners it is pleasant to find 
another traveller able to say that the English " be a 
people very civil and well affected to men stricken in 
years and to such as bear any estimation of learning ; 
which thing they that have not had the full trial of the 
manners and fashions of this country will scarcely be 
persuaded to believe." London was a small city ; the 
houses largely built of wood except the richer sort which 
were brick built, and it was the only English town where 
houses more than two stories high were common. The 
Thames was " a sweet river which offereth many pleasing 
delights, and the fields, and also the air is sweet and 
pleasant." There was " a beautiful long bridge over the 
river with quite splendid, well-built houses occupied by 
merchants of distinction " on it. There was also the 
Exchange which excited the admiration of strangers, " a 
palace where all kinds of beautiful goods are to be found 
and where, because the city is so great and populous the 
merchants appoint to meet " for business. " West- 
minster Hall a building of great majesty " and " the 
beautiful and large royal church at Westminster " lay 
outside the city of London. The travellers took a 
wherry up the river to visit them and the new splendour 
of Henry VII's chapel with its glory of carving and gold. 
Thames, although so sweet a river, was not counted good 
enough to drink at least for " the better sort ". Their 
water was taken from wells with a " cock to turn on " 
whence it was carried on porters' backs along the streets, 
in curious wooden vessels. But the real drink was the 
" beer of the colour of old Alsace wine which was so 
delicious we relished it exceedingly." At table the 
English lived well, and although they crowded their 



board with food instead of serving it more elegantly in 
courses in the continental fashion, yet they did not drink 
so heavily as Germans nor press drink on others so 
persistently. It was no discourtesy to rise sober as 
Moryson found it to be in most parts of the Empire. 
The same old scholar who found Englishmen civil to the 
old gives a pleasant picture of the interior of English 
homes. " The neat clean linen, the exquisite fineness, 
the pleasant and delightful furniture in every point for 
the household wonderfully rejoiced me ; their chambers 
and parlours strewed over with sweet herbs refreshed me ; 
their nosegays finely intermingled with sundry sorts of 
fragrant flowers in their chambers with their comfortable 
smell cheered me up. And this do I think to be the 
cause that Englishmen, living by such wholesome meat as 
they do and in so wholesome and healthful air, be so 
fresh and clean coloured." 

Possibly this old traveller " in some estimation of 
learning " was used to a simpler life than du Plessis and 
his wife. They may have been less impressed with the 
neat cleanliness, delightful furniture and comparative 
sobriety than he, but they could not have failed to admire 
the glories of Hampton Court on which travellers spread 
their enthusiastic praise, its gorgeous state apartments 
and the Queen, who, though she had reigned thirty years, 
yet, looked " no more than sixteen " in her marvellous 
clothes. They visited in noblemen's houses, lived in 
court circles and took their share in the tangled politics of 
the time, just as they also shared in the life of the French 
protestant refugees. Although so few details are given 
the life in England seems to have been pleasant and the 
friendships made there lasting ; certainly they were kindly 
treated and highly respected by Queen and people alike. 

France after the Massacre of St Bartholomew 

When du Plessis returned to France in 1572 it was in 
the hope of finding some position in his native country 
for which his prolonged period of travel had fitted him. 
He reached Buhy in July and came to Paris early in August, 
bringing with him letters of recommendation to Admiral 
Coligny ; before the end of the month the great tragedy 
of the massacre of St Bartholomew had taken place and 
all his hopes were destroyed. It was not until 1589 that 
he won a settled home for his family though scarcely 
even then for himself. The intervening years were spent 
in wanderings ; as a refugee, as a soldier, as an envoy and 
a statesman, in Sedan, England, the Netherlands and to 
and fro over France. It was only after the surrender of 
Paris in 1594 that he could enjoy any prolonged stay in 
Saumur, the city on the Loire whose governorship was 
the meagre reward of his years of toil. 

Nothing could be added which could heighten Mile. 
du Plessis' story of the massacre of St Bartholomew, 
from which both she and her future husband, as yet 
unknown to each other, escaped through their ready 
resourcefulness and indomitable courage. The massacre 
has been a fruitful theme for discussion, but the truth is 
that many causes combined to bring about the catas- 
trophe. It occurred immediately after the marriage 
between Henri de Navarre and Marguerite of France, 
and was preceded by an attempted assassination of 
Admiral Coligny. The shot which wounded him came 
from a house belonging to the Duke of Guise and was 
fired by a man well known to be in his pay. Nine years 
before, in 1563, the murder of the Duke's father had been 
widely attributed to Coligny, and though the Admiral 


denied the accusation he had not hesitated to call it a 
mercy of God. In 1572, Henri, the third duke, who had 
been a boy at his father's death, was a young man of 
twenty-two and already the leader of a powerful party. 
The intervening years of civil war had done nothing to 
weaken the feud between the two families of Guise and 
Chatillon. But though the Duke's participation in the 
assassination of Coligny is easily explained yet the crime 
was not a mere act of revenge. At the moment of his 
death Coligny was engaged in a bitter, if unavowed, 
contest with the Queen Mother for the control of Charles 
IX, and his success involved the complete reversal of her 
policy. Catherine had seemed, at times, to waver 
between catholic and protestant, between England and 
Spain, but there was one matter in which she had never 
faltered. France must be kept free from foreign wars. 
Coligny's policy had for its immediate object a war with 
Spain on behalf of the revolted Netherlands. The 
Admiral fired the King's ambition, his enthusiasm, gave 
him a fleeting vision of emancipation, of acting as a king 
in deed as well as in name for the glory of France and 
humanity. Catherine had not objected to playing with 
the idea of sending assistance to the Prince of Orange. 
It was plainly a scheme to dally with while she still hoped 
to marry one or other of her sons to the Queen of England 
and her daughter to the young King of Navarre. When 
the one marriage was settled and the other seemed hope- 
less through Elizabeth's eternal vacillation, or perhaps 
her immutable will, no inducement remained to over- 
come Catherine's aversion to all war, her still profounder 
aversion to a war in aid of rebels against their king, and 
lastly her almost superstitious respect for Philip of Spain. 
She listened to Coligny, seemed to partly agree with him 
until, through his influence, the Navarre marriage was 
settled. This done her one desire was to loosen his hold 
on the king. She may have hoped that the marriage 
would prove an effective check on the huguenot party ; 
at the worst she would hold the young King of Navarre 


and his cousin, the Prince of Condd, in her power. 
There must be no war with Spain, no help from France 
for the revolted Netherlands, no emancipation of the 
King from her control. Of all the older generation 
who had been leaders in the state since the death of 
Henri II Catherine and Coligny were the only survivors 
of outstanding importance. Coligny gone might not 
Catherine remain at last in unchallenged authority 

The Guise vendetta and Catherine's intense desire to 
be free from her rival in power joined hands. But there 
was yet another source of danger to the Admiral. 
Catherine's third son, the Duke of Anjou, had also his 
quarrel with Coligny. Anjou, young as he was, had won 
a great reputation in the last outbreak of civil war ; he 
had led the royal army and had taken for himself the 
credit of the cold-blooded killing of Louis, Prince of 
Cond6, after the battle of Jarnac ; he was lieutenant- 
general of the kingdom, supreme in the army, a hero to 
the catholic party and little disposed to allow Coligny 
and his huguenots to usurp his place or to dim his glory. 
It was the day of young men and Henri, Duke of Anjou, 
was twenty-one years old. Had the attempt on Coligny's 
life succeeded Catherine and Anjou probably counted on 
the sudden dispersal of the crowd of huguenots who had 
nocked to Paris quite as much to strengthen Coligny as to 
share in the wedding festivities. They may have felt 
sure that few would care to linger in a hostile city after 
so terrible a blow and that, scattered and leaderless, they 
need not be feared. But the assassin only wounded the 
Admiral and hundreds of huguenots, so far from dis- 
persing gathered round their chief with demands for 
ju stice and fierce threats against the Guises. Catherine 
and the King visited the Admiral on the evening after 
the attack and gave him the warmest expressions of 
sympathy and assurance of justice. The King was 
probably sincere for he was still eager to carry out 
Coligny's policy, but the Queen Mother must have 
known that an inquiry would expose the share she had 


had in the crime. She dared not face exposure, and 
Coligny's death alone was not now sufficient to make her 
secure. It was thus the failure of the assassination which 
made the massacre inevitable. Anjou and Guise may- 
have already planned it, in the present temper of the 
huguenots, Guise must at least have known that fighting 
was certain to follow unless he himself began the killing 
quickly. In the case of Catherine it is more probable 
that panic overwhelmed her, panic of exposure, panic of 
the crowds of angry huguenots both within and close 
about the Louvre. The citizens of Paris, always hostile 
to the huguenots and never difficult to rouse to blood- 
shed, could be counted on to carry through the massacre 
when once it was started. At dawn of the day following 
the King's visit the signal was given by the murder of 
the wounded Admiral and of all who were with him in 
his lodging. The huguenots, reassured overnight by 
the King's promises, were taken by surprise. Over two 
thousand perished in Paris alone and among them almost 
all those to whom the party was accustomed to look for 
leadership and protection. 

If Catherine expected peace to follow the massacre, 
she met with bitter disappointment, but although the 
civil war which at once broke out seemed on the surface 
to be a repetition of old troubles, in reality the massacre 
had profoundly altered the character of the struggle. 
All question of intervention in European politics on the 
part of the huguenot party was at an end, for scarce any 
were left in a position to exercise political influence. 
But apart from such questions as peace or war with Spain, 
a change, already at work among the huguenots, was 
greatly accelerated. The massacre had not annihilated 
the party, for in spite of the multitude slain it still num- 
bered thousands, but it did profoundly change its spirit. 
The immediate result was to emphasise the religious side 
oi the movement. Where nobles had been leaders the 

I churches now stepped into their empty places. Ministers, 
elders, consistories, provincial and national synods, all 


the elaborate system of church government adopted from 
Geneva with the calvinist creed, grew in importance and 
power. Congregations, mainly of townsmen, took an active 
share in huguenot affairs, huguenot defence, huguenot 
agression. In the south of France assemblies elected 
from the churches of three provinces met in Languedoc, 
seized ecclesiastical property, raised an army, usurped both 
civil and military government and treated with the King 
for terms of peace as if they were a lawfully constituted 
power. A new state within the state was taking shape, a 
union of churches ruled by its own moral laws ; supported 
by its own funds ; governed, often with a growing and 
narrow bigotry, through its system of consistory and 
synod ; able to work as a whole, however widely scat- 
tered over France, through its periodical meetings of 
elected delegates ; and enjoying some measure of impunity 
through its possession of fortified towns which had been 
assigned to the party as a guarantee of the performance 
of the various edicts of pacification. Where Catherine 
had hoped to consolidate the authority of the crown she 
had given an impulse to the development of a democratic 
government in every way abhorrent to her. Had it been 
a national movement the absolutism of Louis XIV might 
never have been. But it was never national. 

During the days of the League the extreme catholic 
party also set up its own government, with a similar 
elaboration of delegates and councils. It not only drove 
the King from Paris but murdered him in revenge for 
the death of its idolised chief, the Duke of Guise, and it 
kept his successor for five years out of his capital. But 
there was no common ideal between the huguenot 
churches and the League, no common desire for popular 
or constitutional government. As a living body the 
League ceased to exist after the surrender of Paris. 
The struggle of the huguenots to remain an organiza- 
tion apart, a republic within the state continued until 
defeated by Richelieu. Their political suppression was 
due to him ; their religious suppression waited for 


Louis XIV. This growth of a r epublic of the ch urches 

can be explained and perhaps even justified in the 16th 
century as necessary for the preservation of the protestant 
faith, and nothing could serve as a stronger proof and a 
stronger incentive than the massacres in 1572. Another 
and equally certain result of the St Bartholomew was 
unjustifiable. Calvin's exhortation to suffer martyr- 
dom rather than resist lawfully appointed rulers was for- 
gotten in a hatred of a government that kept no faith 
and showed no humanity. Not only was it set at naught 
but its savagery was met by a savagery as brutal as its 
own. Especially was this the case in the south and east 
of France where town fought against town and citizen 
against citizen without pity or remorse. After the 
escape of Cond6, and later of the King of Navarre from 
the French Court, the leadership of the huguenots 
naturally fell to them and something more resembling 
former conditions returned. In theory, at any rate, 
after 1576, the policy and armies of the party were con- 
trolled by the King of Navarre, but the organization o: 
the churches continued, sometimes proving an element 
of strength and sometimes an exasperation to the wider 
vision of their leader. 

Nor was the party of the Guises less affected by the 
massacre, although the change was not so quickly apparent. 
As in earlier days the extreme catholics were led by a 
Duke and a Cardinal of Guise, sons of Duke Francois. 
They were no more content than the earlier generation 
to fill a place subordinate to the Queen Mother, and 
after the death of Alencon, Catherine's youngest son, 
their opposition assumed a character definitely hostile to 
the King. The avowed object of the League, of which 
the Duke of Guise was the idolised chief, was to prevent 
the succession of a protestant prince on the death of 
Henri HI. As each year made it more probable that the 
King would die childless, the fervour of the League 
increased. Henri III made an attempt to control it by 
assuming to himself its leadership, but the one clear 


result of the defeat of his army at Coutras, in 1587, was 
to show how great an illusion his leadership was. As an 
alternative to Henri of Navarre the League chose to 
consider Cardinal de Bourbon as the King's heir presump- 
tive. As the Cardinal was sixty and Henri III thirty- 
five the seriousness of the selection can be questioned. 
At least it is certain that another alternative was in the 
air. A fanciful pedigree claimed for the Guises a descent 
from Charlemagne, and on this a better right to the 
throne than Henri Ill's own was set up, and possibly 
with serious intent. Open revolt on the part of the 
League led to the assassinations of the Duke and Cardinal 
de Guise in 1588, which, in turn, induced the murder 
of the King himself by a fanatical monk in 1589. The 
story of the League and the war it waged fill many pages 
of du Plessis' memoirs, while his pamphlets against the 
League, the Guises and their pretensions to the throne 
occupy many more pages of his published works. 

As in the earlier days of the long religious struggle 
France was not divided into two parties only. The 
third party of which the old Conndtable de Montmorenci 
had once been the chief still existed, although after the 
massacre it was much divided in itself. Damville, the 
Constable's second son, who was the real head of the 
family and recognized chief of ' les politiques,' retired to 
his governorship of Languedoc and refused to leave it for 
many a year. Coligny was his cousin and his murder 
not only accentuated the old antagonism between the 
Guises and the Montmorencis but increased Damville's 
ingrained dislike of the Queen Mother, ' the banker's 
daughter ' and her horde of Italians who grew rich on 
the impoverishment of France. For a time Damville 
and his party made common war with the huguenots in 
the south. From the later outbreaks of civil war, after 
Henri of Navarre's escape, he himself kept aloof but at 
least he allowed neither King nor League to interfere in 
Languedoc, undoubtedly an invaluable assistance to the 
combined huguenots and ' politiques '. Many of the 


latter served under the King of Navarre and Henri, 
always consistently tolerant, chose his friends and his 
captains indifferently among catholics and protestants, 
caring only that they should be ' good Frenchmen '. 
The ' politiques ', who, as years went on more and more 
identified themselves with Navarre and his policy, 
looked to Alencon for leadership in the war which 
broke out immediately after the massacre. Alencon 
hoped to use them much as Louis, Prince de Condd, had 
used the huguenots in the days of Catherine's regency, 
but whereas Conde" was genuinely a believer in the 
reformed faith and was moreover a man of courage, 
Catherine's youngest son had no care on earth for any 
party or any person but himself. Mile, du Plessis gives a 
faithful picture of this prince, of his meanness, his un- 
paralleled perfidiousness, his futile grasping after power 
whether in France, or in England or in Flanders. No 
man and no party ever joined fortunes with him who did 
not live to repent it. His death in 1584 left Henri of 
Navarre heir to the last Valois King. 

The unsuccessful campaign in the north of France in 
which du Plessis shared and in which he was made 
prisoner, was part of a movement concerted with the 
Duke d'Alencon. Alencon won what he wanted and 
deserted his followers and allies ; the huguenot campaign 
failed partly through the better generalship of the Duke 
of Guise, who commanded the King's troops, and partly 
through the refusal of the mercenaries in the pay of the 
huguenots to fight. It seems strange that so much 
money, sometimes raised with difficulty in France, more 
often wrung reluctantly from the Queen of England, 
should have been spent by the huguenots on foreign 
troops who often refused to fight and still more often 
dispersed as they marched, in search of plunder or of the 
food and pay which reached them with scant regularity. 
Yet the expenditure could be justified by its results, for 
though these hired armies never reached the huguenot 
forces south of the Loire, they certainly weakened the 


armies of the King and the League by their threats of 
attack or of pillage in the northern and eastern provinces. 
Du Plessis' missions to England were generally in search 
of money to pay German mercenaries. He not only 
obtained considerable sums from Elizabeth but he also 
won her high opinion of his integrity and intelligence : no 
small testimonial from a queen who knew better than 
most the value of money and the bitterness of parting 
with it. 

Du Plessis was in Flanders in 1582 when the King of 
Navarre sent to recall him to France. The following 
ten years were spent in an extraordinary stress of work 
for Henri and the cause, as a fighter, statesman, delegate 
to huguenot synods, prolific writer of pamphlets, state 
papers, justifications of huguenot actions and theological 
treatises and finally as surintendant of the chaotic finances 
of the King of Navarre. " The Kinglet without a King- 
dom " was hard put to it to find money. The prosperous 
little principality of Beam, under the Pyrenees, was all 
that he held as a sovereign prince. From his governor- 
ship of Guienne he could rarely count on drawing any 
resources. His Bourbon inheritance, of which the 
Duchy of Vend6me was the most important, should have 
been his most valuable source of income, but the wars 
rendered even this uncertain. Certain dues on salt and 
other taxes he had had granted him by the King and 
there was always the chance that war would prove 
profitable by the capture of booty. But since his escape 
from Paris in 1576, Henri of Navarre had led the life of 
an adventurer, often fighting, never settled long in one 
place, always poor and yet always expected to find 
money for cannon and ammunition, sieges and mer- 
cenaries, for missions to protestant princes, bribes for 
wavering adherents and rewards for faithful ones, and to 
keep himself and his court housed and fed and clothed. 
Once in a letter to his treasurer he added a postscript, 
" Armagnac says I have not a shirt left Do send me 
some," and it was by no means certain that the treasurer 


had the wherewithal to comply. It was a remarkable 
achievement of du Plessis' to bring order and something 
almost like comfort and sufficiency for court and army, 
out of the almost hopeless condition of his new master's 
finances. And yet what the little court lacked in comfort 
it made up in gaiety. For a short time Marguerite came 
south to join her husband but she proved a very dis- 
turbing element. Du Plessis' diplomacy could not 
obliterate the scandal of her expulsion from her brother's 
court although he seems to have made the best of " a 
very ticklish affair". Moreover, Henri was enamoured 
of Corisande, the Comtesse de Grammont, and wanted no 
wife unless it were to laugh at in his letters to the Comtesse. 
In one he says, " the lady of the camel asks for a free pass 
for 500 tons of wine ' pour sa bouche ', which is writing 
herself down a drunkard and for fear of her falling off 
the hump," he had refused. Poor lady, the amount is 
large, but the phrase ' her mouth ' included the mouths 
of all her household and may be it would be long ere 
she could replenish her cellar afresh. The allusion to 
the camel is due to the fact that Marguerite shared a 
passion common to princes in her century for keeping a 
menagerie, and her camels and other outlandish beasts no 
doubt made it no easier for her impoverished husband to 
supply her needs. After a while Marguerite retired to 
Auvergne where she lived on the country and contracted 
great debts and no one gave her a thought until her 
husband's accession to the throne of France made her 
again of importance. Almost the last important service 
du Plessis did for Henri IV was to induce Marguerite to 
petition the papal court for the annulment of her marriage 
as the price for the payment of her debts, and even then 
the King had to concede permission for her to visit Paris 
before she would agree ; probably this was the greater 
inducement of the two. 

Henri of Navarre was unrivalled in his power of 
attracting devoted service and du Plessis gave his with 
whole-hearted devotion. It is clear that the King of 


Navarre regarded him with the strongest esteem and 
confidence but he was never on such terms of familiarity 
as he used to some of his followers. Among the King's 
familiar letters many begin with odd nicknames, " toad ", 
" my spider," " slut " or " little child ", but never those 
to du Plessis. The truth is that the puritan in du 
Plessis was never at ease in the carelessly gay, shabby 
little court of Navarre ; he was never willing to condone 
his master's love affairs. Corisande, Comtesse de Gram- 
mont was of no political importance but unfortunately 
it was as true of Henri as of the Duchesse de Chevreuse 
that his constancy was eternal ; it was only the object 
which changed. When Corisande was forgotten in the 
King's absorbing passion for Gabrielle d'Estrees, Duchesse 
de Beaufort, du Plessis' puritanism joined hands with 
his profound consternation at the consequences to France. 
Henri of Navarre was now a childless King of France and 
so long as Gabrielle lived she was an almost insuperable 
difficulty in the way of a second marriage. Her death in 
1598 was, in du Plessis' eyes, a mercy of Heaven. He 
could not bring himself to condole with the King. When 
better courtiers than he urged him not to stand aloof 
while others paid their court, all he could bring himself 
to do was " to hope the King's health had not suffered ". 
Du Plessis was at this date a deeply disappointed man. 
Henri of Navarre was King of France but not a protestant 
King. The huguenots, who might have hoped to 
dominate, found themselves still pleading for tolerance. 
Whatever Henri IV's predilections for one religion over 
the other may have been there could be no possible 
doubt that so long as he remained a protestant he could 
never be king of a France united and at peace. Toler- 
ance for both religions, peace and prosperity for the 
kingdom, and for himself an end of makeshifts and 
hardships and dangers, the enjoyment of a life as King of 
France after the rough years of life as King of Navarre, 
these were the goals he set himself to win. But many of 
the huguenots could not understand his cry ' Are we not 


all Christians ? ', and to them the conversion seemed a 
denial of Christ, the last, worst blow of all. For some 
years du Plessis used his great influence to smooth 
difficulties and keep his party within bounds but time 
could not but widen the rift made by the King's con- 
version. Du Plessis felt deeply the King's growing pre- 
ference for catholic courtiers, his open efforts to turn 
young huguenots around him from their faith. Henri, 
on his side, was angry that his kindly letters begging his 
old servant to come to court, his assurances, sincere 
enough, that he meant no neglect to his former party, 
that indeed he was the King and above all parties, 
remained alike unanswered and unnoticed. 

The final break came when du Plessis published a book 
on " PInstitution de l'Eucharistie " which raised a 
storm of controversy and invective. The moment 
chosen for publication was peculiarly unfortunate. The 
thorny question of the King's marriage was approaching a 
satisfactory settlement but there were other matters of 
difference between the Pope and the King. Henri 
would not give way on two of the most important 
points at issue between them : the acceptance of the 
Council of Trent and the recall of the Jesuits, and he 
looked upon du Plessis' conduct as wantonly increasing 
his difficulties with Rome. However the public sacrifice 
of an old and very faithful servant might turn a difficulty 
into a positive advantage, and Henri was both mean and 
diplomatic enough to adopt this course. According to 
Mile, du Plessis' story her husband was tricked into pro- 
posing a public discussion on his book, although nothing 
was further from his own wish. The King took the 
matter up eagerly and arranged that a conference between 
du Plessis and the Bishop of Evreux should be held at 
Fontainebleau. Du Plessis had been accused by the 
catholics of misquoting and distorting the sense of his 
authorities. In a letter to Madame Catherine, the King's 
sister, he wrote : ' Out of the five thousand passages in my 
book said to be false five hundred were selected ; out of 


these sixty were taken and of these sixty just nine were 
finally discussed.' Everything seems to have been pur- 
posely arranged to humiliate him. Very little time was 
given for preparation, and even though Mile, du Plessis 
herself toiled at the verification of his quotations, he did 
not feel properly prepared for the ordeal. The bishop's 
supporters were chosen by himself while for du Plessis 
two were appointed in whom he felt little confidence. 
One of them was Casaubon, ' a person without doubt 
deeply learned but no theologian, nor of a quality to 
hold his own against the splendour of the court or the 
ruling of the King,' for Henri reserved the place of judge 
for himself. Henri was extraordinarily anxious for the 
victory of the bishop, so much so that his secretary 
declared that his master was less excited on the eve of 
the battles of Coutras, Arques or Ivry than before the 
* engagement of the dioceses of Evreux and Saumur ', a 
gibe against du Plessis' position in his party. Whatever 
the relative learning and orthodoxy of the two dis- 
putants may have been the huguenot was obviously 
foredoomed to defeat. On the second day du Plessis 
was too ill to appear and his wife was hastily summoned 
from Paris. The King's revenge had been cruel. No 
doubt it served the political purpose for which it had 
been designed, and the knowledge that this was so was an 
added bitterness to du Plessis and his wife. 

She wrote : " We had this consolation in our trouble 
that our son, teazed on all sides by the courtiers, showed 
an invincible courage in all his replies. To some who 
pressed him more closely than others he answered ' Are 
not you clever enough to see that the King, to please 
the Pope, has sacrificed my father's honour at his 
footstool '. The King was very angry and when it was 
pleaded that the speaker was young and justly grieved 
for his father, he said, ' He is forty years old, he is not 
young at all ; twenty years of his own life and t-wenty 
years of his father's teaching.' " She adds that the bishop 
of Evreux preached a triumphant sermon in Paris. A 


day or two after a terrific thunderstorm broke over the 
church, the pulpit was struck and the Madonna's robe 
burnt, and there is no doubt the event was a real source 
of consolation to Mile, du Plessis. This episode left an 
enduring mark both on du Plessis' career and on his 
wife's health. She died early in the new century. The 
beloved son was killed in Flanders in 1605, a year before 
his mother's death. Du Plessis himself lived to 1623, 
neglected alike by Henri and by the Queen Regent who 
ruled after Henri's murder in 1610. 

When du Plessis came south to take service with the 
young Huguenot King such an end to a great career 
could not have been foreseen. In those days Henri could 
value du Plessis' unflinching character although he must, 
surely, at times have made fun of his puritan fervour. 
He could, however, feel the influence of this on occasion. 
Once, when he fell dangerously ill du Plessis nursed him 
devotedly back to health consoling him with " psalms 
and sweet and comfortable words ". Henri wrote to 
Corisande from his sick-bed : " In truth dear heart, I 
saw the heavens open, but I am not yet worthy to enter 
in. God has still work for me to do." Among du Plessis' 
multitudinous papers a droll one on the " Order which 
the King of Navarre should observe in his daily life " 
has been preserved. It gives an insight into the hours 
of work, recreation, meals and sleep which could be 
seriously recommended as reasonable in those days ; it 
gives a still better insight into du Plessis' own character, 
a mentor of thirty-three to a too frivolous master of 
twenty-nine. It is nowhere recorded that the least atten- 
tion was ever paid to the order. 

" 9^ January 1583. 
" Whoever considers the many graces with which 
God has endowed the King of Navarre, and the times in 
which He caused him to be born, will agree with me in 
thinking that he is destined for great things and will be 
filled with impatience at seeing him turn aside to petty 


ones. Every one acknowledges his vigorous body, his 
great courage, his incomparable alertness of mind. He 
is the stuff of which great princes are made and the only 
thing needed is that he should understand that he is 
born for greatness and so rule his life that he may serve 
for an example and a model. The manner in which a 
prince lives is of great importance to the government of 
a State and this is our reason for desiring that the King 
of Navarre should observe a certain order in his life, for 
without it no prince is respected. 

" A day is long if it is well arranged and it gives 
plenty of time both for serious business and for exercise 
and pleasure. The King of Navarre should be dressed 
by eight o'clock at the latest and should then send for 
his chaplain to conduct morning prayers. This done he 
should enter his study accompanied by those to whom 
he entrusts the conduct of his affairs. These should 
form his council. He should discuss with them every 
affair of importance which turns up fully and without 
hurry, and should afterwards sign dispatches already con- 
cluded, those which require it being first read aloud. 
To avoid worrying the King with trivialities his council 
should have assembled beforehand to decide matters of 
small import ; prepare others of greater consequence so 
that they can be presented to the King already half 
digested ; look through all dispatches and sift out those 
he need not see so that he can get through the remainder 
in a short hour. And if this were done every day no one 
will have much to do on any one day. The rest of the 
time till dinner could be passed in such exercise or amuse- 
ment as the King likes except on sermon days. At his 
dinner there should be good talk in which his counsellors 
could share, for his hours will regulate those of his house- 
hold. His afternoon should be quite free except for an 
hour before supper, or some other hour as he preferred, 
when he should go into his study with his council to see 
what has been the result of previous decisions and to 
sign necessary dispatches. If there are none awaiting 


the King might invent some. Some princes, for the sake 
of their own reputation, do this without any real occasion, 
and, by appearing busy, enhance the estimation in which 
they are held. Now and then it would not be amiss to 
join the council which manages his household as much to 
encourage each to do his duty as to countenance them. 

" If His Majesty dines at 10 or n o'clock he could sup 
at 6 or 7 and could retire to his room at 9 or at the 
latest at 10 o'clock. His time after supper is his own till 
the minister arrives in his chamber to hold prayers at 
9 o'clock. With his time thus arranged the King of 
Navarre would manage everything without being bored 
and with ample leisure and his servants would have the 
great happiness of knowing that he knew what they did 
and what they were worth so that their labour will be 
nothing but pleasure." 

If the King of Navarre's life remained a source of 
scandal in spite of good advice this did not prevent him 
from taking the duties of his position very seriously. 
Perhaps one of his most attractive qualities was his 
ready sympathy with all those whose lives and homes 
were devastated by war. Du Plessis, recently returned 
from Flanders, moved his compassion for sufferers there 
and a scheme, beneficial both for them and for the little 
principality of B£arn, was proposed. To a generation to 
whom the devastation of war is only too tragically familiar 
the following letter should be of poignant interest, while 
the description of Bdarn, perhaps the only spot between 
the Pyrenees and the North Sea wholly free from the 
misery of fighting, has great charm of its own. 

" M. du Plessis to M. Taffin. 

" ph Dec. 1582. 
" Sir, 

" Although I have been long away in the body I am 
always with you in the spirit and I can never forget the 
country which I loved as my own. I have lately been 
with the King of Navarre, and while with him I remem- 


bered what an infinite number of people rendered 
destitute by the wars you have over there for whom there 
seems to be no help ; so I suggested to the King of 
Navarre that he should bring down a good number of 
families to his principality of Beam. He no sooner 
heard the proposal than he took it up with his whole 
heart and promises to do his utmost to arrange every- 
thing for the best. In order that you may be in a position 
to judge the scheme the advantages would be as follows. 
It is the peculiar gift of God to this country that the pure 
word of God is preached in French and that all idolatry 
and superstition is forbidden and banished. If a suffi- 
cient number of Flemings were to settle they would 
have permission to preach in their own tongue. Peace 
is profound and secure. Justice, which depends on peace, 
is as upright and as carefully administered, I speak soberly, 
as in any spot in the world. The country lies between 
France and Spain, near to the ocean in the neighbourhood 
of Bayonne. The river is navigable for ships. Silk can 
easily be obtained from Spain and wool and flax on the 
spot. The rivers are very suitable for dyeing. The 
conveniences which your people could get elsewhere 
would be inconveniences compared with those of B^arn. 
Corn and wine are plentiful and cheap ; other necessities 
much the same. In order to attract industrious people 
to the country the King of Navarre would assign good 
farm lands to suitable settlers, while the towns are 
pleasantly situated and any privileges which they could 
properly demand would be granted. They would find 
everything needful for their trades and occupations and 
the kindness of the Prince would make up what the 
country lacked. I forgot to say that there is a University 
in B6arn, well provided with men learned in every branch 
of knowledge and language, where their children could 
be educated. 

" The great length of the journey might frighten them 
but God would provide and the King would do all in his 
power. They could come by sea as far as Bayonne, 


which is just on the borders of Bdarn, and to lessen the 
cost they might travel as far as La Rochelle in the 
Flemish boats which fetch salt from Brouage or R6, or 
in the boats which carry wine from La Rochelle to 
Flanders. When they arrive arrangements would be 
made to convey them by ship to Bayonne and the King 
would do his utmost to facilitate the journey. My 
advice is, if any people over there care to consider this 
offer, that some worthy man should be sent here to look 
at the place and he could also requisition everything 
needful to carry the scheme through. He would find 
plenty of gallant and kind-hearted gentlemen ready to 
look after him and see he did not go back empty-handed. 
" As a start a hundred or two hundred families would 
be warmly welcomed and I am certain they would find 
themselves so well off that they would never want to 
leave. We need tapestry workers, cloth weavers, dyers, 
tanners, linen weavers, makers of serges, fustians, gold 
and silk trimmings, etc. A really good painter, who can 
draw from the life, would be well entertained by the 
King of Navarre, and if a minister would lead the little 
colony he would be welcome and would be treated on a 
footing with the ministers of the country. . . . The 
desolation I saw at Hundscot put it into my heart to 
make this proposal and you do not lack other devastated 
districts. I beseech God to have pity on your poor 
country and to give you long and happy life. 

" From Nerac. 

" P.S. — I write by the King of Navarre's command and 
you can rely on this letter as if it were written by himself." 

Concerning Dress and Duelling 

So intent is Mile, du Plessis on relating all that she 
thinks important in her husband's life that she neglects 
much that might have been of interest in her own. Of 
her early life she tells something but after her return 
from the Netherlands in 1582 the record is very meagre. 
One episode has happily been preserved in a separate 
paper which finds a place in the printed collection of 
du Plessis' miscellaneous writings. She does not think it 
worthy to be included in her husband's memoirs, but it 
paints her character, her surroundings, the little pro- 
vincial town to which her wanderings had brought her 
and the bigoted ministers who ruled over the huguenot 
flock there so well, that it seems right to let it find its place 
in the family story. There is a tragi-comedy in the really 
heroic struggle between the court lady of unblemished 
propriety and the pastors of Montauban over the way 
she should dress her hair. She does not defy them 
because she loves wire pads and false hair, although she 
is perfectly clear about the duty of each ciass to dress in 
the mode correct for that class ; silk for the noblesse, 
fustian for the bourgeoisie and sumptuary laws to regulate 
the decencies of life. She would not have disputed the 
right of the National Synod of all the churches to inter- 
fere in the dress of the faithful. But she would not sit 
by tamely while women, less able to defend themselves 
than she, were bullied nor could she submit to the 
arrogance of the ministers of Montauban in their claim 
to override the decisions of the national and provincial 
synods. The quarrel is a curious revelation of the inner 
life of the huguenot communities ; it is also an interest- 
ing illustration of the development of church government 


and of the important position taken by the French 
ministers towards the end of the great century of reforma- 
tion. Montauban might have been in Scotland and its 
ministers and elders friends and followers of John Knox. 
The quarrel, carried on for many months without any 
yielding of the stubborn calvinist conscience on either 
side, is a curious study in fashions and characters. It is 
worth while to dig a little deeper below the surface and 
to try and discover what lay below a struggle whose 
apparent triviality is one of its most amusing features. 

The first fact to come to light is the great change which 
had come over the reformed church in France since du 
Plessis' childhood. In the middle of the century the 
movement towards protestantism was still confined in 
great measure to the families of the nobles ; " preachings " 
were privileged, if allowed at all, to certain seigniorial 
houses ; organization hardly existed ; congregations, or 
as they were properly called churches, could only be 
found in a few great cities ; ministers were often also 
tutors to the children of protestant noblemen or were 
men supporting themselves by learning. Forty years 
had brought about a great change. Nobles were no 
longer the mainstay of the protestant communities ; 
citizens of all ranks had joined the huguenot churches in 
thousands ; lawyers, merchants, shopkeepers and artisans 
now formed the bulk of the congregations. The peasants 
still stood outside, but this was equally true of any move- 
ment religious or political, or indeed of any collective 
life until long after the 1 6th century had passed. The 
field labourer was too ignorant, too entirely outside any 
effort to raise him from the misery, the poverty and hope- 
lessness to which the civil wars had brought him. Even 
after Henri IV's death, when a period of peace and good 
government had done much to restore agricultural 
prosperity, the lot of the labourer called forth a bitter 
complaint to the Regent, Marie de Medici, and her son. 
" Pray God, sire, that you may come to know your 
kingdom. . . . You will see an infinite number of men 


dragging out a miserable life in never-ceasing toil which 
profits them nought but a mouthful of bread, exposed to 
the extortion of your tax-gatherers, the avarice of 
usurers, vexations and thefts of your officials . . . despising 
themselves as beneath the lot of the meanest beast." As 
the old song said : 

" Ce pauvre laboureur 
N'a trois petits enfants 
Les mis a la charue 
A l'age de dix ans." 

Lodged and fed and labouring little differently to 
their cattle, their land " shaved twice a year " by the tax- 
gatherer, uneducated and untouched by the changes 
natural to town life, such people had small inducement 
to interest themselves in religious movements. Even if 
their very misery could have moved them they would 
have been restrained by the dominating influence of 
their lives, love of the soil, the deep absorbing passion 
of the French peasant for the soil that owned them even 
as they owned it. During the long years of civil war 
misery often drove the peasants to brigandage ; the 
smallest lull brought them back to the fields, to the farm- 
yard with its few poultry, the poor house with its rough 
and scanty furniture where the same roof often served 
for the cattle more valuable than the children. 

If the peasantry rarely joined the huguenot churches 
their misery must have been known to the huguenot 
ministers. The country lay close about the little towns 
and the farm folk brought their produce to market. 
And as some of the sons of the better-to-do farmers 
sought a little learning and a possible career in the 
catholic church so here and there a peasant entered a 
huguenot school for the ministry and passed on to 
Geneva for ordination. For the huguenots had been 
very zealous for education. Their ministers were care- 
fully taught ; most, after studying in France, went to 
Geneva and there learnt ' pure doctrine ' and the strict 


rule of that city. They also learnt to look on life with the 
eyes of a country where neither nobles nor abject poverty 
were tolerated and where church officials ranked high in 
importance. Returning to France such men brought 
back to the towns of their ministry the same ideal of city 
rule as they had admired in Geneva, and extending it 
gradually they created the whole elaborate system of 
church government, starting with the church consistory 
of pastors and elders and rising through colloquies, 
synods, national and provincial, to the Assembly of 
elected delegates which could be called together in times 
of special need. Such an organization, which argued a 
democratic ideal alien to the whole spirit of government 
in France, could be used with a tyranny common enough 
to democracies. In the hands of the consistory of 
Montauban it showed itself in its narrowest and stub- 
bornest spirit, but narrow and stubborn as it might be 
it was at least true to the ideal it had formed of a Christian 
community. Certain extravagances were in the opinion 
of the ministers of Montauban forbidden not only by 
the spirit but by the very letter of holy writ, and if this 
were so court ladies must conform just as much as serving 
maids. Nor were they daunted by any social distinctions 
even in an age when the difference between noble and 
bourgeois was a difference which ran through the whole 
of life. As ministers they were above such earthly con- 
siderations ; as private men it is obvious that they very 
humanly enjoyed the outrage they inflicted on one of 
the leading nobles of the little court of Navarre. It is 
odd that they should have attacked one who was an 
important leader in the whole huguenot church. Pos- 
sibly this was a further manifestation of the great change 
towards democracy which had come over the huguenot 
community, slowly at first and with increasing speed 
since the massacre ; possibly something was grudged to 
du Plessis merely because part of his importance rested 
on his rank. 

It is not difficult to find excuses for their churlish 


treatment of Mile, du Plessis in the preposterous extrava- 
gance of dress under the last Valois kings. Mile, du 
Plessis pleaded that neither she nor any of her household 
had ever overstepped the limit of " modest attire ", 
nor is there the smallest ground for doubting her state- 
ment. The fault lies in the absurdity of the modes in 
vogue. If fifty years ago ladies had gone to church in 
the regulation court-dress of Queen Victoria's reign it is 
probable that the bishops and vicars would have had 
something to say on the matter, and although it is unlikely 
that ladies three hundred and fifty years ago wore their 
grandest clothes at a preaching or communion, yet there 
were certain fashions proper for the noblesse just as 
peculiar to them as the bare shoulders and court train to 
the frequenters of Victoria's drawing-rooms. There was, 
however, this difference that a class distinction in dress 
was in use, not only on special occasions but on every day 
and all day, and to abandon it was to abandon something 
more than mere finery. Certain materials were reserved 
for the nobility, certain colours forbidden to the bour- 
geoisie, a few could only be worn by royalty. No 
bourgeoise might wear gold lace, gold hair-nets or spangles 
on her skirt ; lace of all sorts was forbidden although the 
beautiful art was rapidly perfecting itself on the pillows 
of Flanders. When escaping from the St Bartholomew 
Mile, du Plessis feared that the lace on her shift would 
betray her disguise as a servant-girl. Dress was a matter 
of rank and rank was the basic fact of all social life, and 
thus a quarrel over wigs and wires was not the wholly 
frivolous thing it seemed. 

The fashions of the day were so extravagant that it is 
difficult to see why the hair gave greater offence than 
farthingales and tight lacing. Montaigne declares that 
women killed themselves with the wooden or metal 
frames into which they forced their figures, and his 
statement is borne out by the surgeon, Ambrose Pare" 
who says he " found cases where tight lacing had made 
the ribs ride one over the other." The queer flat- 


chested portraits of Queen Elizabeth's day are due to a 
fashion in dress and not to the artist's inability to draw a 
woman's figure. The artificial flattening of the bust 
was emphasized by the farthingale which padded out the 
hips and spread the skirts out to a portentous size. 
Sumptuary law restricted the spread of a farthingale to a 
little over two yards but this was considered a cruel 
interference. When Charles IX rode into Toulouse the 
streets were lined by women petitioning with tearful 
vehemence for a greater amplitude, and the King was 
pleased to grant them full freedom in their folly — at 
any rate in Toulouse. Charles cared little for dress but 
his brother Henri's only rival was their sister Marguerite. 
The diarist, L'Estoile, describes Henri as the King " who 
wore a ruff half a yard wide and who invented a rice 
starch to stiffen it till he looked like St John with his 
head on a dish." His doublets were padded out till he 
resembled a pouter pigeon and his breeches were so tight 
he had to be lowered into them by his valets ; his hair 
was frizzed and spread over ' arcelets ' or hoops of wire ; 
nor was his queen's dress less important than his own. 
" Henri de Valois, doubtful King of France, imaginary 
King of Poland, starcher of his wife's collars and curler 
of her hair," such was the gibe of the Parisians in the days 
of the League. 

Marguerite, Queen of Navarre, was more lucky in her 
chronicler. In his character sketches the Abbe - Brantome, 
a secular abbe - by the way, put no restraint on his pen 
when the peerless Marguerite was to be described. " To 
please her excellent mother she appeared in a superb robe 
of cloth of silver," ruff and veil and jewels all described, 
and " bearing herself more like a goddess of heaven then 
a queen on earth," and when complimented on her 
appearance she replied " when I get back to Paris I shall 
take none of my gowns with me. I shall only take my 
scissors and materials so that I can dress in the current 
mode." The Abb£, who stayed in the court of Spain at 
one time, says that Marguerite's elder sister never wore 


a dress twice, so highly did Philip II esteem his French 
wife. However this may be, the more gold and silver 
lace, spangles and jewels ladies wore the greater were 
Brantome's ecstasies, and he praises the Queen of Navarre 
as highly for her infinite invention in dress as for her 
Latin and her wit. Where Marguerite led others 
followed with more or less success and with more or less 

Nor did the bourgeoisie fail to do their best with their 
more restricted opportunities. Any sort of cloth and 
serge was free to them and though they might not wear 
silk, velvet was not forbidden as a trimming to their 
skirts and sleeves. Brittany women to this day use velvet 
in much the same way as was the fashion among the 
middle-class women in the 16th century. A citizen wife 
is described as being " dressed without hair, her cap of 
velvet, an overdress of serge and an underdress of violet 
cloth, buckled shoes and a farthingale to spread her 
skirts over." Such women carried ample pouches hung 
to their girdles with needle and thread and housekeeping 
requisites in it and the keys hanging by its side. One good 
housewife carried no less than thirty-two, and keys were 
not very small in those days. The lady in their stead 
hung her fan and scent bag and little mirror, and perhaps 
fastened to her bodice one of the new " Nuremberg 
e gg s "> as trie exquisitely-adorned watches just coming 
into use were called from their place of origin. It is 
noteworthy that the city lady was dressed " without 
hair ". The wearing of false hair and wigs was very 
prevalent. It might be inferred from Mile, du Plessis' 
story that they were only in use among the court ladies, 
but this was not the case entirely ; what the ministers 
seemed to have held in particular abhorrence were gold 
nets and still more ' arcelets ', that is wire circlets used 
to stretch the hair over. How a bourgeoise indulged in 
false hair earlier in the century is told in one of Erasmus' 
letters, and it is unlikely that its use was discontinued. 
His landlady " punched the servant-girl's head with her 


fists. ' Have you no nails ' said I. She laughed. ' I 
would fight her gladly enough,' said she, ' if I were 
strong enough.' ' Victory is not always to the strong,' 
said I. ' Cunning may do something.' ' What cun- 
ning ? ' said she ' Tear off her false curls,' answered I. 
I was only joking but see what came of it. While we 
were at supper in runs our host breathless and panting. 
' Masters, masters,' he cries ' come and see a bloody 
piece of work.' We fly, we find mistress and maid 
struggling on the ground. Ringlets lay on one side, 
caps on the other, handfuls of hair lying littered about 
the floor. . . . After we had returned to the table in 
came the landlady in a fury to tell her story, ' I was going 
to beat the creature when she flew at me and pulled off" 
my wig, then she scratched my eyes and then she tore at 
my hair.' We consoled her as well as we could. We 
talked of the chances of mortal things and the uncer- 
tainties of war." 

Erasmus and his landlady were dead long before 
Mile, du Plessis' troubles, but, writing nearer to her 
time, the Venetian ambassador relates the reigning 
fashion of the day. He draws a comparison between the 
artificiality of Paris and the more natural modes in Italy. 
" The arrangement of their hair is very different to the 
Italian mode. They use circlets of metal and pads 
over which the hair is drawn to give an appearance of a 
wide forehead. Hair is generally black because it makes 
their cheeks pale, for paleness, if not due to illness, is 
considered a beauty in France." Wigs made of hair or 
of dyed tow easily supplied blonde ladies with black hair, 
and dyes and grease changed the colour of their natural 
locks, while powders and cosmetics secured a fashionable 
complexion. Cosmetics were much in use and scents 
were many and strong, so strong that it was said that 
those used by the King and his favourites would over- 
come the smell of the streets of Paris as they passed along 
them ; some justification for their use certainly. Once, 
when a little town in southern France was sacked, Henri 


III wept, not for the loss of life but because the most 
exquisite scent and cosmetic establishment in France had 
been burnt to the ground. Marguerite's face was 
naturally pale and her hair very black, but whether to 
differ from other beauties or from mere perversity she 
preferred to wear yellow wigs. " I have sometimes seen 
her," says the admiring Abb6, " with her own natural hair 
without any wig to disguise it, and although her hair was 
very dark she knew how to curl and frizz and arrange it 
so cunningly, in imitation of the Queen of Spain, who 
always wore her own hair in the Spanish fashion, that no 
other coiffure suited her better. . . . And yet this 
mode did not please her and she rarely used it, but pre- 
ferred wigs most daintily fashioned." Being a lady of 
infinite resource in matters of dress Marguerite invariably 
chose pages with yellow hair and had it cut off to make her 
wigs. It does not need much research into the fashions of 
her day to understand a wish on the part of the huguenot 
pastors to reform dress as well as doctrine. Those of 
Montauban were certainly of opinion that they had the 
sanction of St Peter to uphold them in their warfare 
against ' arcelets ' and wigs. Mile, du Plessis, on the 
other hand, argued that if St Peter condemned wigs when 
he spoke of ' plaiting of hair ' he also condemned ' wearing 
jewels of gold ' to which the ministers made no objection. 
It was a pretty quarrel and it is a pity that there is no 
mention of the decision of the Synod to which the lady 
appealed. 1 

As is not unnatural the latter part of Mile, du Plessis' 
book falls off in interest. She suffered much from ill- 
health and increasing trouble with her eyes made both 
reading and writing difficult. Nor was there the same 
richness of material to fill her pages as in earlier years. 
The civil war gradually dwindled into isolated struggles 
in which her husband played no very important part. 
As King of France, Henri IV could not ignore those who 
had served Henri III and were ready to serve him, and 

1 See letter of Mile, du Plessis to M. de la Cour, p. 290. 


positions which du Plessis might have hoped to fill were 
given to others. Nor did his uncompromising protestant- 
ism make his employment any the easier for a king whose 
first object was to win the goodwill of his catholic 
subjects. The natural result followed and du Plessis 
and his wife, with leisure on their hands and doubt and 
disappointment in their hearts, became more and more 
absorbed in the fortunes and future of the huguenot 
church. Much of the end of the memoir is devoted to 
the difficult shaping of the Edict of Nantes and subjects 
of kindred interest. Du Plessis was, however, employed 
in one or two missions of importance before the unfor- 
tunate publication of his book on the Eucharist finally 
banished him from favour. Apart from one curious 
incident in his life and some passing mention from time 
to time of family affairs there is little of personal interest 
to be gleaned from Mile, du Plessis' later narrative, 
little of that vividness which, in the earlier pages, breathes 
the very breath of life into the long dead years. But in 
the year 1597 an attack was made on du Plessis which 
looked very like an attempt at assassination, and his wife, 
filled with all her old fire, eagerly relates the story and 
its consequences. It brings out the singular mixture of 
savagery and justice, of codes of honour and the practice 
of private revenge and, perhaps more clearly than any- 
thing else, the solidarity of a French family even to the 
remotest kinship which are all so characteristic of the 

Men's minds were in a strange confusion on the subject 
of honour, duelling and assassination, and nowhere is 
this better shown than in Brantome's Discours sur les 
Duels. He speaks of duels arising from political causes, 
of duels of revenge carried on from one to another in 
the true spirit of vendetta, of duels arising out of jealousy 
whether of king's or mistress' favour, and above all of 
duels for ' a nothing ', a frivolity, a mere love of fighting 
which brought so many lives to an end. The pleasantly 
reminiscent abbe - was no less keen on the deportment of 


a gentleman than on the exquisite adornments of a court 
lady, and his pages bring his readers into the closest 
touch with the events he relates. It is not essential to 
prove that his accounts of the many duels he has known 
are accurate ; it is enough that they reflect the opinion 
and the sentiment of the age. Their charm is enhanced 
by the introductory words to many of his stories " When 
I was in Rome", " I was told in Scotland", or " I had 
this on good authority in Spain ", as well as by his claim 
to kinship or friendship with many of the duellists. 

The old duel in the lists with judges and spectators 
came to an end in the reign of Henri II, but secret 
duelling took its place and was no whit less savage. It 
was a common thing for the seconds and even ' tierces ' 
to fight together while the principals settled their own 
quarrel. There was no obligation on a victor to offer a 
vanquished foe his life, only Brantome does insist 
" speaking as a Christian ", that if the offer is made it 
should be done courteously and not in such terms that a 
gallant man would prefer death to surrender. Tricks of 
all sorts were common ; a dagger finished a fallen antag- 
onist ; servants, concealed, rushed out and turned the 
fortune of the fight or avenged a master's death. 
Brantome condemns " supercheries " of all sorts ; above 
all he recommends the insertion in a challenge of the 
words " with the usual weapons ", and then goes on to 
relate how a Gascon killed his man with a bow and 
arrow in the use of which he was an expert whereas his 
antagonist had never handled a bow before ; and of 
another duellist who demanded such an array of costly 
arms and chargers that his opponent, though he came off 
victor, was fairly ruined by the cost. He throws doubt 
on the truth of a story that a M. Millaud, who should 
have fought in his shirt, wore " a light cuirass cunningly 
painted to look like flesh " so that his enemy's second 
was deceived and his principal thereby killed, but the 
story found credence, and where it met with doubt it 
was not because it was dishonourable but because it was 


improbable that a painter would be skilful enough to 
" make iron look like flesh ". 

One of the most celebrated duels of the day was that 
fought by six of Henri Ill's ' mignons '. L'Estoile, the 
diarist whose pages chronicle the life of Paris for close 
on forty years, made the following entry : " On Sunday, 
27th April 1578, to settle a quarrel about nothing at all 
between Caylus and Entragues, mignons of the King, 
Caylus, Maugiron and Livarot met Entragues, Riberrac 
and the young Schomberg at five in the morning near the 
Bastille St Antoine, and there fought with such fury that 
Maugiron and Schomberg were left dead on the ground, 
Riberrac died of his wounds on the morrow at midday, 
Livarot escaped but was laid up for six weeks from a 
great blow on his head ; Entragues got off safe and sound ; 
Caylus, the aggressor and origin of all the trouble, 
languished for thirty days with nineteen wounds in his 
body and died on May 29th. The King visited him 
every day and promised the surgeons 100,000 crowns if 
they cured him and another 100,000 to his darling mignon 
to encourage him to get well . . . ; but he died crying 
aloud ' my king, my king ' without once calling on God or 
his Mother." Livarot escaped with his life in 1578 to 
be killed in a duel in 1581. The fight took place in a 
little island in the Loire without seconds, a practice 
which Brantome considers very unwise. In this case 
Livarot's servant lay concealed behind a bush and as his 
master's slayer left the ground he sprang out and killed 
him " before he could say ' What's up ' ". No one was 
sure whether Livarot had placed the man there to 
revenge him if he fell, but no one would have been 
particularly shocked if he had. Duels were fought with 
the object of killing and why not by one way if not by 
another, although Brantome, indeed, opines that Livarot 
was " trop galant homme " to have done such a thing. 

Mingled with Brantome's discourses on duelling are 
stories of what would nowadays be called assassinations of 
revenge. The distinction between such and duels seems 


to have been slight, nor, if they were carried out with 
courage and bravado, were they scarcely less honourable. 
Few stories could better illustrate the spirit of the age 
than the story of the Baron de Viteaux the paragon of 
France, who was not less esteemed in Italy, Spain, 
Germany, Poland and England than he was in France. 
He was little in body but great in courage . . . and held 
the maxim for true that vengeance could be sought by 
every means and trickery be met by trickery without loss 
of honour." De Viteaux finally fell by the hand of a 
very young man, Millaud, the same whose victory was 
ascribed to a painted cuirass. De Viteaux fell and 
Millaud stabbed him as he lay " without the courtesy of 
offering him his life. It was a cruel end for de Viteaux 
but not at all dishonourable." Nor did Brantome 
think the action which led to his last duel at all more 
dishonourable than his death. The fight with young 
Millaud was the end of a long vendetta. The Baron de 
Viteaux lost two brothers in duels. One, a boy of 
fifteen was speedily avenged, for his slayer, almost his 
murderer, was caught by de Viteaux and killed " without 
ceremony ". Unhappily the man was a favourite of 
Henri III, at that time Duke of Anjou, and de Viteaux 
had to fly to Italy. While there another brother was 
killed by the elder Millaud, father of de Viteaux' van- 
quisher. The baron returned with his beard grown long 
and disguised as an advocate. " He lodged at that little 
house at the end of the Quai des Augustins watching his 
man pass to and fro. At last seeing his chance he left his 
shelter one day only accompanied by the two brothers 
Boucicault, commonly known as de Viteaux' lions, and 
attacked Millaud, who had five or six men with him, 
killed him without much trouble and got happily out of 
Paris." Pursued by the provost, de Viteaux was captured 
and imprisoned. King Charles IX and Anjou, recently 
elected King of Poland, would have had him executed 
but his many friends interceded for him. " M. de Thou, 
premier president, argued with the two kings that if 


Gounellieu and Millaud had been executed for the 
murder of de Viteaux' two brothers then de Viteaux 
should justly suffer death too ; but things being as they 
were equal justice ought to be done and de Viteaux 
pardoned as the others had been." Judgment was 
suspended and the King of Poland departing for his new 
kingdom de Viteaux was set free " to go about Paris and 
the court in better case than ever, welcomed and liked 
by all the world." On Charles' death Henri came home 
from Poland and the vendetta was started again by du 
Guast, a friend of Millaud and a favourite of the new 
king. De Viteaux feeling himself in danger came one 
evening to du Guast's lodging where he found him abed, 
unwell. Du Guast sprang into the ' ruelle ', or little 
passage in the alcove behind the bed, and defended 
himself with a boar spear, but de Viteaux " with a very 
short and sharp sword, which is the best weapon for such 
a purpose, struck him three or four blows and left him 
for dead ; and he died two or three hours later." 
De Viteaux, who had set his men to watch, " got out of the 
lodging without any noise or fuss, and no one could ever 
prove the murder against him. But enough of de 
Viteaux. If I could immortalize him I would do it for 
the great friendship between us for these fifteen years 
past, always kept alive by many kindnesses." So writes 
the Abbe" Brantome. 

The incidents are prior to the attack on du Plessis but 
the belief in a right to avenge wrongs had not changed. 
In the case of du Plessis men occupying the greatest 
positions thought it the duty of kinship to offer not 
only their own swords in his defence but also the troops 
they commanded for the King's service. They could 
indeed have pleaded that as du Plessis and his opponent 
belonged to opposite parties the incident was a part of 
the scarcely extinguished civil war, and that du Plessis' 
position in the huguenot party heightened the import- 
ance of the outrage. But though friends promised help 
and the King justice the final settlement of the quarrel 


was left to the court of the Constable and Marshals of 
France, under whose jurisdiction affairs of honour fell. 
Many people shared Mile, du Plessis' opinion that the 
culprit should have been left to the ordinary court of 
law for punishment and that the King could not free 
himself from the imputation that he had shown scant 
zeal in his old servant's cause. The whole story makes 
curious reading. 

Apart from this episode related in considerable detail 
mention of other family affairs can be found scattered 
through the years between 1592 and 1606, when the 
memoir ends ; the loss of their only son who survived 
infancy, the marriage of their daughters, the birth of 
grandchildren, the deaths of the elder generation and 
efforts to establish the family fortunes ; these have been 
gathered together in one chapter so that the continuity 
of the family history may be preserved. Philip was never 
married. The memoirs were written for him " So that you 
may not be without a guide " in his mother's words, and 
it is fitting that his death should close these introductory 
pages. A tiny book of consolation for the young man's 
death written by his father has survived. Like many of 
du Plessis' writings it was translated into English, under 
the title of " The Lord of Plessis, his teares," and the 
quaint and carefully balanced sentences of the panegyric 
can be read in contemporary language. " Philip Morney, 
Philip's sonne, making an enterprise under the Grave 
Maurice upon the Citty of Gueldre, having broken open 
the first and second gate, and bending all his power and 
endeavour against the laste, with a musket shot was 
struck through the brest, and fel ; leaving behind him 
the reward of his virtues, included in the world's 
general lamentation for him, as he had possessed it with 
honourable hopes of him. Hee was born at Antwerp 
in his father's Embassage, 1579 the 20 day of Julie : and 
was made immortall, 1605, the 23 day of October. . . . 
Grace Hirselfe was the grace women, the midwife that 
received him from his mother, and attended his first 


hour of birth : so did Pietie his infancy, Learning his 
childhood, Vertue his youth, Honestie his fuller growth 
and firmer age. And yet so kinde was this contention of 
the corporall and mentall virtues, being all enranged and 
enrooted in him, that neither did his strength make him 
decline unto pride, his good shape unto loosenesse, his 
learning to vanitie, his valour to cruelty, or his love of 
uprightnesse unto any sowrenesse of manners : his 
towardnesse so happily prevented his education ; his 
fruit stept in before his flower, and true gravitie took 
place in his heart, ere any little downe had spred itself 
on his face." The book, for all its formal language, 
breathes a real agony of sorrow, and the little that is known 
of the younger Philip justifies the deep grief of his parents. 
His death was the last trouble his mother had to bear for 
she did not long survive him. At least she must have 
felt that he had not been unworthy of her hero, his 
father, although he did not live " to finish that which I 
have begun to write concerning our lives ". 


The following books have been specially used for 
quotation in the Introduction : — 

servir d I'histoire de 


Contemporary. Brant&me. Discours. 

Fynes Moryson. Itinerary. 
L'Estoile. Memoires pour 

Le Noue. Discours edition de Bale, 1587. 
Mergey, G. Memoires, Michaud et Poujolat. 

series, 9th vol. 
Montaigne. Essays. Voyage au Italic 
Mornay, du Plessis. Letters, ed. 1824. 

„ ,, The tears of the Lord of Plessis. 

Vielleville, Marshal. Memoires. Michaud el 

Poujolat. ist series, 9th vol. 

Modern. Imbert de la Tour. Les origines de la reforme. 

Racinet. La costume historique. 
Romier, L. La royaame de Catherine de Medici. 
Rye, W. B. England as seen by foreigners. 
Victor Le Ronne (membre de la commission des 

antiquit6s et des arts de Seine et Oise). 

Description of the Chateau de Buhy. 

Memoir of 
Philippe de Mornay Sieur du Plessis Marly 


Early Years and Education 

Philippe de Mornay was born at Buhy, in the French 
Vexin on Nov. 5th 1549, two hours before the dawn, and 
was baptized the nth day of the same month. His 
father was Messire Jacques de Mornay, chevalier and 
lord of Buhy, and his mother was Dame Francoise de 
Bee Crespin, daughter of Messire Charles de Bee, 1 vice- 
admiral of France, and of Dame Madeleine de Beauvillier, 
daughter of the Count of Saint- Aignan and of Antoinette 
de la Tr^mouille. His godfathers were Messire Philippe 
de Roncherolles, baron of Heuqueville, and his paternal 
uncle, Messire Bertin de Mornay, granddoyen of Beauvais 
and abbe" of Saumur au Boz near Boulogne. His god- 
mothers were his maternal great-aunt, Madame Jehanne 
de Beauvillier, Lady of Puyset and of du Plessis Marly, 
and Dame de la Neuville, Lady of Morvillier. His 
nurse, whom I should be loth to forget, was Marguerite 
Madon, a native of Buhy, a woman of a sweet nature. 
The late M. de Buhy, his father, lived a blameless life to 
the age of forty-eight, never once failing to play his part 
in the wars and to do his service to his King. But the 
wars once over he retired to his own house, indifferent 
alike to court life and ambition, although opportunities 
for both were not lacking. He loved horses, and in peace, 

1 Charles de Bee Crespin, Seigneur de Bourri and de Wardes, Vice- 
Admiral of France. 



as in war, always kept a good establishment ; he took his 
pleasure with his friends and neighbours and was con- 
sidered by all to be a very honest and scrupulous man as 
times then were ; he was a devout worshipper in the 
Roman Church and brought up his children to be the 
same ; he loved the poor and was liberal to them ; above 
all things he hated lying and swearing ; and thus he 
lived in sweet and honest converse with all men. He 
died in the year 1559 on the last day of November. God 
gave him grace at his death to call to mind the many 
words of good purport which were daily spoken by his 
wife concerning the errors of the Roman Church which 
were not unknown to her, and he would have neither 
priest nor any superstitious ceremony, feeling full assur- 
ance of his salvation by the sole passion of Jesus Christ. 
He was visited, aided and admonished during his illness 
by M. d'Ambleville and M. de Villarceaux, father and 
son, his near relatives and bearing the same surname, and 
also by Master Antoine Quarr£, a doctor of Gisors and by 
Mademoiselle de Buhy, his wife, who had herself called 
them all in, knowing that they were instructed in the 
true faith. Thus he passed from this life into that of the 
blessed on the eve of St Andrew at the hour of noon. 
His body was buried at Buhy where it lies at rest till the 
last day. He made no will, telling Mademoiselle de 
Buhy, his wife, that he left his children and his house in 
her care in full confidence. 

This same Dame Francoise de Bee, his wife, was thus left 
a widow at the age of twenty-nine, having been married at 
sixteen and having borne her husband tenchildren, of whom 
four sons and two daughters were living, all very young. 
Now for the past six or seven years she had had her eyes 
opened to the errors of the Papacy and had longed to 
profess the reformed religion. But the fires of persecu- 
tion were still at that time alight in France and terror 
for the ruin of her house made her dissemble, the more so 
as M. de Buhy, her husband, was not of one mind with 
her. She often spoke with him on the subject and some- 


times he would find her reading the Bible or the Psalms 
or some other book, at which he never showed any dis- 
pleasure ; merely warning her not to bring him into 
trouble seeing how cruel the times were. So now being 
a widow she had no wish to make any sudden change nor 
to declare herself openly before the funeral ceremonies 
and obsequies were over. And when the late M. d'Amble- 
ville, father of M. de Villarceaux, cadet of the Mornay 
family, and Madame de Villarceaux, his daughter-in-law, 
told her how wrong she was, knowing the errors of Rome, 
to go on practising them and this all the more because 
her late husband had scorned its superstitions at his 
death, she replied that she had no mind to begin with the 
funeral ceremonies lest it should be said that she did it 
to save the twelve or fifteen hundred crowns they would 
cost her. This being so she observed all the ordinary 
mourning and ceremonies. Later on and little by little 
she left off going to mass, now on the pretext of her 
mourning, now on that of ill-health, but she continued to 
send her children, more especially the younger ones. At 
length warned by God in a grievous illness she and all her 
children made public profession in the year 1560, and 
ever after she persevered in the same faith in spite of 
wars, persecutions and massacres. Nor did she spare to 
do everything that lay in her power for even in the time 
of the St Bartholomew, when the Scripture was silenced 
throughout the land, it was still read in her house. 

As for her family and household she had always ruled 
them with much honour and praise from all, and now in 
her widowhood she continued to spend all her time in 
building up and taking care of her children's welfare, in •* 
which she took a singular pleasure all the days of her life. 
She married one of the daughters left to her, Francoise 
de Mornay, to Anthony le S£ndchal, Seigneur d'Auber- 
ville, a scion of one of the oldest families of Normandy 
who professed the true religion, of which marriage there 
were several children. She has still two sons left to her 
and at this very hour when I write she is busied in 


dividing the property of the late M. de Buhy and her 
own between them, they having come to an agreement 
together and having begged her to be their sole arbitra- 
tor, so that, when it should please God to call her, they 
can live in the same friendship which has lasted unbroken 
through her lifetime and can each retire to live in peace 
in his own house at her death. 

The elder is M. Pierre de Mornay, Seigneur de Buhy, 
etc., who married Dame Anne d'Enlezy, sole heiress of a 
good family in Bourbonnais, and whose father owned a 
great deal of land in Normandy which she inherited. 
The second son is Philippe de Mornay, lord of Plessis, etc., 
my highly honoured lord and husband, about whom I 
have a mind to write, with God's help, as a means of 
strengthening our posterity in their fear of God and in 
their hope in Him after we are gone hence. 

Now Philippe, after having been reared under the care 
of his foster-mother in his father's house up to the age 
of five, was placed in the charge of one Adrian, priest of 
Beauvais, so that he might be taught reading and writing 
and the rudiments of latin. At that time it was under 
consideration whether Philippe should enter the Church ; 
and this was all the more likely because Messire Bertin de 
Mornay, granddoyen of Beauvais and abbe of Saumur near 
Boulogne, who enjoyed over 20,000 livres in benefices, 
was very fond of the child and was willing to resign them 
all in his favour. But God, not wishing that Philippe 
should be plunged into idolatry, removed this temptation 
by the death of his uncle, the granddoyen, who died in his 
abbey of Saumur in October 1556. Feeling himself 
stricken with illness he sent for his brother, M. de Buhy, 
who went to his aid, but Mademoiselle de Buhy, his 
sister-in-law, could not go for she was then great with 
child. The granddoyen left his brother sole heir of all 
his patrimony and bequeathed to his nephew, Philippe de 
Mornay, all his property which was not entailed, both 
what he had inherited and what he had since acquired. 
He showed the greatest regret at dying before he had 


done all that he wished and intended to do for his brother 
and nephews. However M. de Buhy, on account of his 
grief at the approaching loss of a brother whom he dearly 
loved, would not allow a word to be said on the subject 
of the resignation of these benefices ; and the sick man 
himself neither remembered nor spoke of them in spite 
of the goodwill which he manifested up to his last moment 
for all his family, and more especially for Philippe de 
Mornay, who was the only person to whom he bequeathed 
anything. After his death the late M. de Lizy, Arch- 
bishop of Aries (of the house of Monjay), their cousin 
and very good friend, who had credit at the court, 
induced the late King Henri (II) to give all the grand- 
doyen's benefices to the late M. Disgue, chancellor to 
Queen Eleanor of Austria, 1 who was M. de Buhy's 
maternal uncle, and this he did in the hope that they 
would thus be secured to Philippe through him. But 
as M. Disgue was eighty years old M. d'Estrde, 2 grand- 
master of the artillery, immediately obtained a grant for 
their reversion from King Henri II, so that as M. Disgue 
died two years afterwards without resigning them in 
favour of his great-nephews they passed out of the 
Mornay family. Manifestly it was God in His mercy 
who so ordered things for, having later on come to a 
knowledge of the true religion, it would have been a 
great hindrance to that open profession of faith which, 
by God's help, they made. 

At the death of the late Dean M. du Plessis was seven 
years old. At that time he was in the care of Gabriel 
Prestat of Sedan in Brie, who taught him, but without 
appearing to do so, the principles of the true religion of 
which he himself had knowledge. But he did not openly 
discuss them, partly because of Philippe's childish age 
and partly for fear of M. de Buhy, who was ignorant that 
his son's pr^cepteur was a lutheran, as they were then 

1 Widow of Francois I. sister of Charles V Emperor. 

2 Jean, Marquis d'Estree, 1486-1471. Grandfather of Gabrielle 


called. It was Mademoiselle de Buhy, his mother, who 
had taken pains, through M. Morel, a learned man in 
much repute at that time, to engage Maitre Prestat, so 
that her sons might be instructed betimes in the fear of 
God. He had under his charge Pierre and Philippe de 
Mornay, her two elder sons (the others were too young), 
and he also had one of her nephews, George de Bee 
Crespin, now Seigneur of Bourry. To keep M. de Buhy 
in ignorance of the religion of the said Prestat and of the 
instruction that he was giving the boys, after he and his 
pupils had lived for some time at Buhy, Mile, de Buhy 
sent them all to her eldest brother's house, where Prestat 
was well known, and where M. du Bourry approved of 
the teaching given to his son and nephews. M. du 
Plessis made his first efforts in scholarship at Bourry and 
gave promise that he would make rapid progress. At 
the age of eight, towards the end of 1557, Philippe was 
taken to Paris by his father, M. de Buhy, and placed in 
the College of Lisieux, in the charge of Maitre Paschal 
Diepart, who is at present practising as an advocate at 
Rouen. He belonged to the Roman Church and in- 
structed Philippe in its practices. Not long after Maitre 
Diepart betook himself to the study of the law and left 
his pupil in the hands of Maitre Marin Liberge, a native 
of Mantes, now docteur regent at Angers ; this Maitre 
Liberge, besides being himself devoted to the Roman 
religion, had in his house a canon named La Chapelle 
who never let a day pass without hearing M. du Plessis 
recite his hours and vigils, and so imbued the boy with 
these observances that he became very diligent in them 
of his own accord. M. de Buhy, coming to Paris observed 
his son carefully and bade him grow up a worthy man and 
to go daily to Mass, in which the whole of religion seemed 
to consist. He was at this college for two years but his 
studies were greatly interrupted by illnesses so that he 
never got beyond the fourth form. 

On his father's death Mile, de Buhy sent for him so 
that he might take his part in the funeral ceremonies 


and the mourning for the late M. de Buhy, his father. 
She chose for his escort a certain Maitre Jean de Luz, a 
priest and since Curate of Magny, who, suspecting that 
Mile, de Buhy had no love for the Roman religion, 
began to sermonize and admonish M. du Plessis on their 
way home bidding him to remain a good catholic and to 
live as he had been taught and not to be led astray by 
his mother's lutheran opinions. This talk troubled the 
boy and he answered in his childish way that he certainly 
wanted to remain a catholic but that if he were troubled 
in his mind he would read attentively in the Gospels 
and in the Acts of the Apostles, and would conform 
himself with what he found therein. Thereupon Maitre 
Jean de Luz made answer that if he did so he would 
assuredly be lost, and that he must content himself with 
what he had been taught and that reading books was 
very dangerous. When he reached Buhy he found all 
his brothers and sisters with his mother. His eldest 
brother, Pierre de Mornay, now sieur of Buhy, recently 
returned from his service as page to the late King Francois 
II, had been with his mother several times to hear the 
Word preached at M. de Lizy's house. He had also 
learnt his catechism and had tried to lend it to his father, 
but M. de Buhy had refused, being loth to read in any 
suspect book. He had got hold of a New Testament 
printed by Rouville of Lyons, in Latin and French, by 
privilege of the King and with the approbation of the 
Sorbonne, and in this he diligently studied, seeking to 
enlighten himself and praying God's help. As he read 
and re-read he noticed that purgatory and prayers to 
the saints were never mentioned, whereas idolatry and so 
forth were expressly forbidden. This made him begin 
to doubt in other matters and to read not only more 
carefully but in other books as well, and so little by little 
he came to a true understanding of the Lord's Supper. 
Thus, by the grace of God who had turned him to the 
study of the truth, point after point was searched into, and 
from the moment that he was enlightened he resolved to 


go no more to Mass although his mother did still occasion- 
ally attend. Soon after, and a little before the Colloquy 
of Poissy in 1561, the whole family, by the goodness of 
God, forsook idolatry and made open profession of that 
faith in which we all with His help hope to live and die. 
About this time M. Philippe de Bee, then Bishop of 
Vannes and nowadays of Nantes, was awakened to a 
knowledge of some of the abuses of the Roman Church, 
and he spoke with some freedom on the subject to his 
sister, Mile, de Buhy, even lending her certain books 
which he had formerly brought from England. The 
bishop was fond of his nephew, M. du Plessis, and thought 
well of him and intended to resign a part of his benefices 
in his favour, and so when the boy first went to college 
he had been dressed as if he were intended for the church. 
But from the moment that God had opened his eyes even 
a little to the abuses of the church, Philippe would hear 
no more talk of taking orders. Some time after his 
father's death he returned to Paris to the house of M. 
Prdbet who lived at the back of Boncourt College. He 
entered the second class and made good progress, and 
this without taking part in any act of idolatry. Several 
children of good family were brought up together there, 
among others the cadets of Rambouillet and Bellenave. 
But once more, by an ill-luck which seemed to pursue his 
studies, he could only follow them for two months for 
in consequence of the troubles which started again in 
France in 1562 1 pressure was put on his conscience. In 
the case of his school-fellows this was successful, but he 
decided to let his mother know at once. She immedi- 
ately sent Crespin Guaultrin, her receiver, and some of 
her servants to bring him home. This Crespin was 
attached to M. du Plessis, because, in the lifetime of his 
father, he had been selected to be the guardian of his 
property on the occasion of the purchase of Ouatimesnil 
by his uncle the Dean in his nephew's name and for the 
boy's profit. As a plague was then raging in Paris, and 

1 Massacre at Vassy, ist March~i562. 


as even in the very house two of his school-fellows had 
died of it, M. Prdbet physicked M. du Plessis so severely 
that he was very ailing in consequence. Notwithstanding 
his condition he set out the very next day, with a Greek 
primer tucked between his tunic and his shoulders. On 
account of the troubles the city gates were guarded. 
As they were undergoing an interrogation at the Porte 
St Honore" there chanced to pass by the Corpus Domini, 
as they call it, on its way to a sick man. M. du Plessis 
slipped through as nimbly as he could, but if the said 
Crespin, who was a catholic, had not knelt in adoration 
he might not have escaped so easily, for every one knows 
that in those days men and women were killed in Paris 
by the mob on the merest breath of suspicion. He 
reached Buhy and immediately fell ill of a severe attack 
of pleurisy which was followed by a wasting fever. He 
was then thirteen years old. The doctors attending him 
thought the illness was caused by the fatigue of the 
journey following on the severe purging to which he had 
been subjected and which had heated his blood. His 
illness lasted nearly three months and during it his 
mother was obliged to leave her house, on account of the 
troubles, and to take refuge with Mile, de Montagny, 
her maternal aunt, who lived a league away from Buhy. 
She had with her the six children still left to her, four of 
whom were ill, and her two nephews, M. du Bourry's 
sons. She took them all, Philippe and Anne de Mornay 
accompanying her in her own coach as they were the most 
ill. The whole family stayed at Montagny till the 
troubles were over and during the whole of the time all 
her children and both her nephews were ill. M. du 
Plessis' illness again interrupted his studies and made him 
forget all that he had hitherto learnt. Seeing which, 
and he being then thirteen years old, his mother thought 
of making him into a page, but he begged and prayed her 
so earnestly not to do this that she abandoned the project, 
for above all things he longed to get back to his studies. 


Taking his wishes into consideration she next thought of 
placing him with the Chevalier d'Angouleme, 1 since 
Grand prieur of France, who was carrying out his studies 
in M. Morel's house, in the hope that M. du Plessis 
might acquire learning and good manners at one and the 
same time. But at last she yielded to his persistence and 
she sent him back to Paris. She engaged as his tutor M. 
Lazare Ramigny, a native of Linsle in the mountains of 
Nice, in Provence, a religious and a learned man but 
vehement in his temper like all his countrymen. He 
was recommended by M. Mercier, the King's Professor 
in the Hebrew tongue. M. du Plessis set seriously to 
make up for time lost through his illnesses and the troubles. 
Inasmuch as he had to begin over again almost at the 
very beginning he should have gone to a private college 
where the lessons are not so difficult, but seeing how tall 
he was grown he was ashamed to do this. Accordingly he 
attended the public lectures, and worked so hard during 
the next three or four years that he overtook, and even 
outstripped, those of his own age. 

Half-way through the four years that he spent at Paris 
his maternal uncle, the Bishop of Nantes, 2 arrived in the 
city. After testing him in his knowledge of Greek by 
glancing through several books, his uncle discussed the 
question of religion with him. Since the troubles began 
the Bishop had been to the Council of Trent with the 
Cardinal de Lorraine s and had stifled the knowledge 
which he had formerly had of the truth. He told M. du 
Plessis that he had no wish to press him before he was 
come to a riper judgment, but that his opinions on 
religion would change with age. M. du Plessis answered, 
" Sir, if it is nothing but an opinion it would be better to 
change it at once. I am quite ready to receive instruction 
and to justify my faith." And at that time no more was 
said. But on the morrow the Bishop told him that he 

1 Henri d'Angouleme, son of Henri II and Lady Flemming. 
* Philippe de Bee, Bishop of Nantes, 1566-1594, Archbishop of Rheims, 
» Charles de Lorraine, 2nd son of Claude, Due de Guise, 1524-1574. 


wanted him to read in the Fathers and that he would 
see that a bookseller lent him the books. Some days 
later he spoke of resigning his bishopric in his nephew's 
favour, and until he attained canonical age, he proposed 
to make over to him the prevote of Vertou, which he could 
hold without making any change in religion, on the mere 
strength of the tonsure he already wore as a student. 
M. du Plessis thanked him, but said that God would not 
let him want for anything, for he was loth to lay himself 
under an obligation to his uncle, lest it should prove a 
stumbling-block and a reason for following his uncle's 
counsels. After the Bishop's return to Brittany M. du 
Plessis wrote to him once a fortnight, dwelling on those 
passages in the writings of the Fathers, which he diligently 
read as directed, which confirmed him more and more in 
the chief points of the (reformed) religion. 

At this same time M. de Menneville, the youngest of 
the Heuqueville family, was studying in Paris and was 
sometimes to be seen at M. de Longueville's ' house. 
One day when there, in the presence of the duke's mother, 
the Marquise de Rothelin * who was of our religion, he 
boasted that he could defeat the most learned huguenot 
ministers in a disputation. This boast made her ask if 
there were no scholar of his own age and rank who would 
hold an argument with him. M. du Plessis was men- 
tioned, and so she sent for him and told him of her wish. 
When he heard who was the other disputant he told her 
they were related but that as it was for religion, and was 
moreover a discussion in all friendliness, he would not 
allow the relationship to be a bar. She gathered together 
a company at her own house, the Hotel Rothelin near les 
Enfans Rouges, among whom was M. de Longueville 
her son, the Marquis de Rothelin, 8 the count de Rochefort, 

1 Leonor d'Orleans succeeded his uncle Francois III, Due de Longueville, 

a Jacqueline de Rohan, widow of Francois d'Orleans, Marquis de 

* Francois d'Orleans, illegitimate half-brother of Leonor, Due de 


M. d'Entragues and several more. The discussion 
opened on Purgatory, the subject having been set several 
days beforehand, but after arguments on the one side 
and the other, M. de Rochefort stopped the disputation, 
not caring to have it carried further on this point. But 
as it was only fair to see which of the two had studied 
best, books in Hebrew, Greek and Mathematics were 
produced and M. de Menneville had to confess that his 
studies had not gone so far as M. du Plessis'. Next, the 
" Timaeus " of Plato was brought forward and discussed 
till night fell and brought the meeting to a close, since 
which event M. de Menneville has always felt a certain 
grudge against M. du Plessis. 


The Grand Tour : 1567-1572 

In the year 1567, shortly before the troubles of St Denis, 
as they are called, broke out and because of their obvious 
approach, M. du Plessis left Paris for Buhy. He wanted 
to join in the war under his uncles, M. de Bourry and M. 
de Wardes, who were among the first to take service and 
who were in the very vanguard of the army. But his 
mother would not permit it thinking it was enough to 
let his elder brother, M. de Buhy, go as cornet to M. de 
Wardes. He was the first in the charge at the battle of 
St Denis, at the side of D'Aubervillier and in front of 
M. de Genlis. M. de Genlis retired to Soissons and M. 
de Wardes, after bringing his nephew home, went to 
Normandy to try and rouse the party for the Religion 
round about his own country ; as they met with no 
success, they sought for some way by which they might 
recross the Seine and join the army before Chartres. 
M. du Plessis again importuned his mother for leave to 
go with them, which she at length gave. But God, 
who willed otherwise, did not permit his studies to come 
to an end so soon. For he had scarcely left home and 
was still in one of their own villages called Buschet when 
his horse fell on him and broke his leg in two places. 
So back home he went and could not use the limb for 
three months so that he had to be carried from place to 
place, because of the King's army which was camped in 
the neighbourhood of Buhy. During this illness he 
amused himself with writing a lament on the civil wars 
in France in French verse, which, when peace was made, 
he gave to the Cardinal of Chatillon, together with 


several sonnets in praise of the three brothers Coligny. 
This youthful effort was lost when the Cardinal's library- 
was pillaged at Bresles near Beauvais. Peace was signed 
at Chartres, though, as every one knows, it was a peace 
which was almost worse than war, and was moreover of 
short duration. 

During this brief respite he obtained his mother's 
consent, with some difficulty, to travel in the charge of 
his tutor, the aforementioned Lazare Ramigny. This 
journey was not undertaken without extreme danger, on 
account of the disturbed condition of every town through 
which they passed. To give instances, they narrowly 
escaped assassination as they left Paris by the Porte St 
Marceau, and again at Montargis, so full of doubts and 
fears was every one ; then at Nevers they were recognized 
by some of the Duke's men as belonging to the Religion 
and as the Duke was at that time at the height of his 
sufferings from the wound which he had got in the 
recent civil war they were in peril there. Next they had 
great difficulty in getting out of Lyons, as M. de Birague, 
at that time Governor of the Lyonnais, refused them pass- 
ports. So they had to watch to see at what hour the 
guard at the Gate was changed, and then to slip out at 
the moment when the change was made. So at last 
they reached Geneva towards the middle of August 1568, 
about the same time that the Prince de Conde l left 
Noyers to retire to La Rochelle. They stayed but a 
short time in Geneva because of the plague and so 
passing through Switzerland into Germany, they reached 
Frankfort. He spent the winter at Heidelberg in the 
house of M. Emmanuel Tremelius, a Christian and a man 
learned in many languages but excelling in Hebrew. 
M. du Plessis worked hard at German, which he learnt 
more by study than by conversation so as to escape the 
society of Germans, with whom it is difficult to mix 
without drinking too much. However he got on so well 
that by the end of six months there was not a book which 

1 Louis de Bourbon, Prince de Conde, 1530-1569. 

THE GRAND TOUR: 1 567-1 572 95 

he had not read and understood. He also made a begin- 
ning in the study of law and was familiar with the most 
learned men in all professions, although he listened more 
to their friendly talk than to their lectures. 

The year 1567 found him at Frankfort at the time of 
the September Fair, where he made the acquaintance of 
M. Hubert Languet, by nationality a Burgundian and 
well known in our time for his piety, doctrine and 
virtue, and also for having been employed on various 
important embassies to most of the Princes of Christen- 
dom. M. du Plessis got a great deal of useful information 
from him on the conduct of his travels. The friendship 
then formed lasted till the last hour of M. Languet's life, 
who, as he lay dying, spoke of M. du Plessis as a loving 
father might speak of an only son. With his last words 
he told me that he had never loved anyone so much, 
and he would feel himself only too happy, if I would 
promise to ask my husband (for he was at that time 
absent) on his behalf, that in the first book which M. du 
Plessis should publish he should say that they had been 
friends, and that he held M. Languet in honour. It is 
this request which made M. du Plessis add a brief epistle 
to the latin translation of his book on " The Truth of 
the Christian Religion," in which he made worthy men- 
tion of his old friend. 

After seeing the fair at Frankfort he left that city 
and went by way of Switzerland and the Grisons to 
Italy. Through an introduction from M. Languet he 
became acquainted with M. de Foix, 1 at that time the 
King's ambassador to the Signory of Venice, but who 
was soon after succeeded by M. du Ferrier. 2 Both M. 
de Foix and M. du Ferrier loved him well, and their 
friendship still holds, and so long as the wars for the 
religion which he openly confessed lasted in France 
there was no Frenchman with whom they were more 
intimate than with him. 

1 Paul de Foix, 1528-1584, Ambassador to Venice, England and Rome. 
Archbishop of Toulouse, 1577. 
1 Arnand du Ferrier, 1 508-1585. 



His first stay was at Padua where he went on with his 
legal studies, but privately more than by attending the 
public lectures for it seemed to him that the Italian 
doctors lectured rather to display their own learning than 
to teach their scholars. Besides his studies he did not 
neglect to practise the use of his weapons and other 
exercises. He also continued other subjects of study 
besides the law, and, so as to leave no hour idle, took 
great pleasure in the evenings in acquiring a knowledge 
of simples. Since the signing of a league between the 
Pope, the King of Spain and the Venetians against the 
Turk, the Signory had allowed the Pope and his ministers 
to exercise more authority than was customary, and in 
consequence the Bishop of Padua, a member of the 
Pisani family, began to make more diligent inquiry after 
heretics than heretofore. M. du Plessis, therefore, feeling 
himself too well known through various disputations and 
conferences in which he had taken part on various 
occasions and with different people, left for Venice. He 
spent six or seven months there living on very familiar 
terms with M. du Ferrier, the Ambassador, and had 
enjoyed many a talk with him on Hebrew, the reformed 
religion and other subjects. Another friend of his was 
M. de Mezieres, also known as Francois Perrot Parisien, 
a man of rare piety and sound doctrine, who had been 
employed in honourable service by more than one 
king. This friendship lasts between them at the present 

But even at Venice he met with more than one little 
difficulty, on account of his religion. Among others one 
day the Signors of the Inquisition, who were four gentle- 
men deputed by the Signory to inquire into such matters, 
sent for him requiring him to take an oath on certain 
articles. He answered, in Italian, that his religion would 
not allow him to do so. The Commissary, mistaking 
the meaning of the word religion as used by M. du 
Plessis, asked him if he was a " religious ", meaning to 
say a monk, thinking he was too young. He replied that 

THE GRJND TOUR: 1 567-1 572 97 

there were others even younger than he, and so they 
acted on his reply and no more was heard of the matter. 
All the same he did not intend to deceive them, but 
rather to explain his creed openly and give reasons for 
his faith. Another time, on an Easter morning, he went 
with M. du Ferrier's secretary to the Palace on certain 
matters of business. The Doge and the whole Signory 
were standing in full state in the courtyard under the 
Gallery just by the little door which leads into St Mark's. 
I have often heard him describe how the Sacrament, as 
they call it, was borne out of St Mark's accompanied by 
a little crowd of all sorts of people in the Italian fashion, 
on its way to Sebastian Zeni, then a prisoner in the 
Palace. The Doge, the Signory and the crowd of nobles 
all threw themselves on their knees, while he alone 
remained standing, with his head covered, in their midst. 
Some of them stared at him but nobody made a trouble 
over it. He met with several such little affairs while in 
Italy, from which he extracted himself without offence to 
his conscience through God's grace. I have often heard 
him say that he was never more full of zeal for his religion, 
nor more careful of his conduct, so that he might give 
no cause for scandal to those of his companions and 
friends who knew him to belong to the reformed church. 
He made friends with M. Calignon, 1 who, at that time, 
was still sunk .in the abuses of the papacy, although he 
was not without some knowledge of the Truth. Their 
talk was mainly on religion for M. du Plessis sought to 
encourage and enlighten him ; since those days M. 
Calignon has done much good work for the reformed 
churches, and notably for those in Dauphine" ; and in 
very truth he is a man gifted with fine and rare qualities. 
M. du Plessis made ready to leave Venice for the 
Levant, but he got no further than the coast of Istria and 
Dalmatia because of the war of Cyprus which broke out 
just then and made it dangerous for Christians to travel 
further east. In 1571 he left Venice and started on a 

1 Soffrey de Calignon, 1550-1606, afterwards Chancellor of Navarre. 



tour round Italy, going by the Adriatic coast and return- 
ing by way of Tuscany to Genoa. Wherever he went he 
inquired very thoroughly into what there was to see, so 
that nothing might escape him. To this end he had read 
all the best histories he could find during any prolonged 
stay that he made in a town, both particular and general 
histories of Italy as a whole and of its states, principalities 
and republics as well ; nor did he stop short, as most do, 
at seeing the antiquities of each place, but he also studied 
their chances and changes, their beginnings, births, 
progress, growth and the causes of these things, together 
with the spots where battles had been fought and sieges 
laid and assaults given, all of which he very fully recorded 
in Italian in a manuscript which he left with others in the 
hands of M. Jean Metellus, a Burgundian of Franche Comte\ 
from whom I have so far failed to recover any of them. 
He followed the same method in all his travels in Germany, 
Hungary, the Low Countries and England, and he and 
I are both trying to get all these records together for the 
use of our children. During this tour he passed by 
Ferrara, which was still feeling earthquake shocks, and he 
stayed there several days so as to observe and inquire 
into the circumstances of these shocks which had lasted 
seven or eight months, and were the worst ever felt there. 
From there he went on to Rome, and on the way often 
lodged in the same inns with friars of the order known as 
Cordeliers, many of whom were travelling to Rome for 
their general synod. He could hardly do this without 
often entering into dangerous conversations on affairs in 
France which was only just emerging from the recent 
troubles and wars about the religion ; as indeed happened 
at Ancona, a town in the March subject to the Pope, 
with an abbe who was travelling to Loretto. As the only 
way to avoid idolatry he was forced to slip off secretly 
from his companion by the old post-road, which nobody 
took because it was a sort of crime to pass by Loretto 
without saluting the shrine. At Spoleto he was in danger 
because, at the end of an earthquake which had gone on 

THE GRAND TOUR: 1 567-1 572 99 

for two months, a Madonna was set up in imitation of 
Loretto, on the outskirts of the town, which was said to 
weep and work miracles and to have saved the town from 
destruction by earthquakes by her tears. The people 
came in battalions from the neighbouring towns, marching 
under crucifixes as if they were banners, and those who 
did not salute them were in danger of their lives, which 
might have befallen him more than once whilst travelling 
by that road. But God saved him in time because, just 
as he was passing through Spoleto, an edict of Pope Pius 
V was published which, on account of certain impostures 
which had been discovered, forbade all pilgrimages on 
pain of excommunication, till the miracles had been duly 
proved and approved. Notwithstanding this edict some 
of the crowd as he passed in front of the shrine seized 
his stirrups to make him dismount, but when he refused 
they dared not use force on account of the Pope's edict. 
The fame of this idolatry spread all through Italy and 
many marvels were told of the idol. But although he 
heard tell of this or that blind or lame man who had 
been cured, he always found, on inquiry, that it had 
happened in the next village further on, while among all 
those whom he questioned he never found one to give 
thanks for himself. He mentioned this some time after 
to the Duke of Savoy ' when he visited his court, and the 
Duke, who had heard of the miracles, was troubled at 
this remark. 

Now, whether M. du Plessis had been denounced from 
Venice or Padua where he had stayed, or whether he had 
laid himself open to suspicion in his talks with the 
friars with whom he fell in on his way, it is certain that 
on the second night after his arrival in Rome, where he 
put up at the Boar, the Bargello, or Captain of the Watch, 
came to his lodgings and asked his name, country, business, 
whence he came, whither he was going and so on. He 
answered nothing but the truth although he gave his 
family name of Philippe de Mornay instead of du Plessis, 

1 Philibert Emmanuel, m. Marguerite de France, d. Francois I. 


the name by which he was generally known. His servants 
were lodged in an adjoining wardrobe room and in order 
that they should not contradict him but should conform 
to his answers he spoke in a loud voice, which they over- 
heard and so made their answers agree with his when 
their turn came to be questioned. So the Bargello 
went away but two hours later he came back and began 
his inquiries all over again. This redoubled M. du 
Plessis' alarm and he was on the very point of jumping 
from the window in an effort to escape ; however by the 
grace of God he made a bold answer and the guard again 
retired. When morning came he slipped off to Tivoli 
and kept out of the way for a few days and then came back 
to Rome to see everything that his first hurried visit 
had not given him time to see. At Milan and Cremona, 
both towns belonging to the King of Spain, he ran similar 
risks. Once being questioned by some very inquisitive 
Spaniards one of them told him that all Frenchmen were 
Lutherans, to which he replied that it was just as if one 
said all Spaniards were Moors. This started a discussion, 
the man declaring that lutherans were worse than Jews, 
and as, when they left the table, the Spaniard went off 
to find the Inquisitor of Cremona, a great persecutor, M. 
du Plessis, warned by God, went off to Piacenza in a hurry 
and kept out of the way there. He also visited the court 
of Savoy where he made himself agreeable to the Duchess 
and several other people of importance, but without 
putting himself forward. And so having finished his 
tour of Italy he returned to Venice. Throughout his 
journey he paid his respects to the learned men in each 
town, of whatever faculty or profession, but above all 
those who had any knowledge of the truth so that he 
might comfort himself with them. 

From Venice he took his way by Trent, Innsbruck and 
Linz and reached Vienna in time for the wedding of the 
Archduke Charles with his niece, the daughter of the 
King of Bavaria. From there, furnished with the proper 
passports, he went on into Hungary, where he was very 

THE GRAND TOUR: 1 567-1 572 101 

well received by all the governors and where he pursued 
his usual method for getting acquainted with notable 
persons and places. He continued his journey through 
Moravia, Bohemia, Misnia, Thuringia, Hesse, Franconia, 
etc., so that he ended at Frankfort once more at the 
September Fair 1571, and there decided to spend the 
winter at Cologne. In the course of this winter he became 
very intimate with Petrus Ximenes, 1 the great Spanish 
theologian, a modest and sincere man in intention if not 
in faith. In many points of doctrine they agreed but 
Ximenes had entrenched himself in the belief in the 
visible Church, from which he thought it wrong to 
differ however great were the errors into which she 
fell. M. du Plessis begged him to put into writing 
his principal reasons for this belief, and afterwards 
refuted them in a little paper in latin which those 
in Cologne called Scriptum Triduanum. It passed 
through many hands but it was never printed. The said 
Ximenes asked for time to write his answer but he never 
wrote it although often earnestly solicited by his friends. 
In Cologne M. du Plessis also knew Charles de Boisot, 
since Governor of Zealand, and his brother who was 
afterwards Admiral of the same country where they were 
both held in high esteem ; and the lords of Rhumen, 
Mansard and Ohain who had fled from the persecutions 
and burnings of those who professed the reformed 
religion in the Low Countries. He was acquainted too 
with a learned man a Burgundian of Franche Comt£, 
called Metellus, driven away not because of the reformed 
religion, which indeed he did not profess, but because of 
the Cardinal de Granvelle's hatred for him. Familiarity 
with these people brought him into touch with affairs in 
the Low Countries, which soon after began to move 
by the taking of Brielle, Flushing and Camfer, and above 
all by the base treachery of the Spaniards in Rotterdam.' 
M. du Plessis wrote two remonstrances on this latter 

1 Petrus Ximenes, b. at Middelburg 1514, of Portuguese parents. 
1 Massacre by the Spaniards 1571. 


event, which were scattered all over the Low Countries 
both in French and in Flemish. The first was to induce 
them to refuse to admit garrisons ; the second, following 
their refusal, to show how little the Spaniards could be 
trusted after their recent treachery ; and these two 
papers were not without fruit. They were sent to the 
Prince of Orange, then at Dillenbourg, although they were 
not seen by him till eight years later. From this time 
forth in all negotiations with the Low Countries he was 
absolutely trusted. He passed the winter in reading 
Canon Law and the Fathers, in attending discussions on 
the religion and in writing various papers, which for the 
most part remained in the hands of the aforesaid Metellus, 
from whom I have never been able to get them. He also 
wrote a commentary on the Salic and Ripuarian Laws, 
which might yet be recovered from Metellus, in which he 
explained all the foreign words, or at least those not 
latin, which he found there. 

In the spring of 1572 he went into the Low Countries, 
where he made a very careful study of the country, even 
finding means of getting into the castles and garrisoned 
places, because it seemed likely that King Charles would 
declare war against the King of Spain. Thence he 
crossed over into England, though not without great 
danger, just at the time when Mons was taken and the 
whole country was in an uproar. Shortly after his 
arrival in England the late M. du Montmorenci 1 and 
M. de Foix came across, to take the oath to a league 
between the late King Charles and the Queen of England. 

He composed a poem addressed to the Queen, of 
which sixty verses were lost because he had torn them 
up and hidden them in different places on account of 
their dangerous character and of the searchings and 
persecutions that went on under the Duke of Alva ; and 
he could never rewrite them. The poem might have 
had eight hundred verses and invoked her aid for the ruin 

1 Francois due de Montmorenci, Marshal of France, 1530-1579, eldest 
son of the Conneteble de Montmorenci. 

THE GRAND TOUR: 1 567-1 572 103 

of Anti-christ and the establishment of the true Church. 
Whilst he was in England he was asked if he would visit 
the Queen of Scotland on behalf of King Charles, but he 
refused fearing lest he might be asked to carry letters 
prejudicial to the affairs of England, and, in consequence, 
to the Religion. 

And so towards the end of July he reached France, 
and having spent a few days at Buhy with his mother, 
he went on to Paris to join the late Admiral Coligny. 
He told the Admiral everything that he had observed 
in the Low Countries, all of which was communicated to 
the King. Next he presented a remonstrance on the 
justice, utility and facility of a war against the King of 
Spain, which paper was afterwards printed very incor- 
rectly in the Memoires de France. After all which the 
late Admiral proposed that he should join the Prince of 
Orange who was moving about with his army, and assure 
him that succour was coming from the King ; this plan 
was speedily abandoned owing to the defeat of M. de 
Genlis on his way to Mons. M. du Plessis was very 
resolute in his determination to reach the Prince of 
Orange in spite of all dangers, and wanted to disguise 
himself as a peasant. When the Admiral discussed the 
matter with him, for the Admiral had been advised by 
M. Languet that M. du Plessis was worthy of confidence y 
in spite of his twenty-three years, he told him that he held 
himself ready not for gain or advancement, seeing how 
great was the risk, but because he felt assured he would 
employ him in nothing that would not be for the glory 
of God, who would guide him so long as he served Him. 
The massacre of the 24th of August, St Bartholomew's 
Day, brought this and many other matters to naught. 

M. du Plessis arrived in France some three weeks 
before the massacre on St Bartholomew's Day 1 took place, 
and I have often heard him say that he expected no good 
to come out of the condition of affairs. Even on the 
King of Navarre's wedding-day he scarcely went out, so 

1 24th August 1572. 


little did he rejoice in it. Certain warnings were given 
him too, which he passed on but without doing any good. 
On the Friday before St Bartholomew's Day he had 
obtained three days' leave of absence from the Admiral, 
and was ready to start for Buhy with his mother who was 
then in Paris, but whilst he was at M. de Foix's house, 
bidding him good-bye, one of his servants, a German 
called Eberhard Blanclz, came to tell him that the 
Admiral had been wounded. He ran to the spot, met 
the Admiral and accompanied him back to his lodgings, 
and from this moment felt all his forebodings of approach- 
ing evil redoubled. Notwithstanding which, and in 
spite of all Mile, de Buhy's prayers and commands, he 
made up his mind to give up his journey and await the 
issue of events, as God might ordain them. But he made 
her leave Paris immediately by telling her how certain 
he was of the coming danger, so that she set out on the 
eve of that miserable day towards four o'clock in the 
afternoon, and slept at Pontoise, half-way to her own 
home. He felt he could not himself shun the danger 
with honour while the King of Navarre, the Prince of 
Cond6, the Admiral, and so many of the great nobles 
stayed behind. 

On the Saturday evening M. du Plessis came home 
very late from the Admiral's house and had warnings 
given him that certain of the citizens were arming them- 
selves. His lodging was in the Rue St Jacques, at the 
sign of the Golden Compass. On this Saturday, the 
morrow of the attack on the Admiral, he had retained 
another lodging, nearer to those of the Admiral, so that 
he might go in and out more easily at any hour of the day 
or night. God willed that this new lodging could not be 
got ready for him before the following Monday. On 
the Sunday morning at five o'clock the aforementioned 
German, whom he had sent to the Admiral's lodging, 
came running back terrified, to warn him of the uproar 
which was going on there. M. du Plessis jumped up 
and hastily dressed himself, intending to go there himself, 

THE GRAND TOUR: 1 567-1 572 105 

but various encounters on the way sent him back to his 
lodging. His host was called Poret (he yet lives) a 
Roman Catholic, but a man of conscience too. Search 
was made for M. du Plessis in this man's house and ( he 
had barely time to burn his papers. He himself got in 
between two roofs and did not come out till he heard 
the searchers leave. The rest of the day he passed with 
what patience he could, and in the meantime he sent to 
M. de Foix's house, on whose friendship he knew he 
could rely, to beg him to help him escape. But M. de 
Foix had taken shelter in the Louvre, not even he feeling 
safe in his own house. 

On Monday morning the fury beginning again, his 
host came to him and begged him to leave, saying that 
he could do nothing to save him, while on the other hand 
M. du Plessis might be his ruin, although he would not 
have minded this if he could have really kept him safe. 
The murderers were already in his next neighbour's 
house, one Odet Petit, a bookseller, whom they had 
killed and thrown out of the window. 

On hearing this M. du Plessis put on a very plain black 
suit and took his sword, and left while the mob were busy 
sacking the neighbouring house, and so passed into the 
Rue St Martin and got into a little alley known as the 
Trousse Vache to the house of a huissier, named Gerard, 
who was the Buhy family's man of business. The way 
there was long and M. du Plessis did not reach the Alley 
without several dangerous encounters. He found the 
huissier standing at his door and was welcomed by him, 
and just at the right time too for at that moment a 
captain of the watch passed. The huissier promised to 
get him out of Paris the following morning. M. Gerard 
then set him to work with his other clerks. The worst 
was that his servants, although he had not mentioned 
where he was going to take refuge, guessed where he was 
and came, one after the other, to look for him, and were 
noticed going into the house. Thereupon that night 
the captain of the watch sent to the huissier with orders 


to send the stranger who was with him to him. The 
huissier was frightened and very early in the morning he 
came to M. du Plessis and begged him to go away. M. 
du Plessis made up his mind to go, however great was the 
risk, and this was on the Tuesday morning. He left his 
old tutor, M. Raminy, behind for fear lest they should 
run into more danger together than they would apart. 

As he was coming down the stairs all alone, for the 
huissier would not listen to any proposal that he should 
bear him company out of the town, one of the clerks 
offered his services of his own free will, saying that he 
could get M. du Plessis through the Porte St Martin 
because he had formerly belonged to the guard there, 
and was well known. M. du Plessis was overjoyed at the 
offer, but when he got downstairs he saw the man had 
only slippers on his feet, and he begged him to get his 
shoes for he did not look fit for going on a journey ; but 
the man said it was no matter and M. du Plessis did not 
like to urge him. As ill-luck would have it, the Porte St 
Martin was not open that morning and they were 
obliged to go on to the Porte St Denis, where the clerk 
had no acquaintance. After answering many questions 
they were allowed to pass on the information that M. du 
Plessis belonged to Rouen, that he was clerk to a frocureur, 
and was on his way to spend his holidays with his relations. 
But one of the guard caught sight of the clerk's slippers 
and gave it as his opinion that he was not going far away 
in that condition, and that the man was probably a 
Roman Catholic helping a huguenot to escape. There- 
upon four soldiers were sent after them who arrested 
them near to Villette between Paris and St Denis. 
Immediately a furious mob gathered, carters and quarry- 
men and lime-burners from the quarries and kilns in 
the neighbourhood. God preserved them in this first 
onslaught, and from the blows of the mob, but even while 
M. du Plessis tried to turn aside their wrath with soft 
words, they dragged them towards the river. The 
clerk began to lose his head and swore again and again, 

THE GRAND TOUR: 1 567-1 572 107 

in these very words, that M. du Plessis was no huguenot. 
Forgetting that they had agreed to say he was a procureur's 
clerk, he even called him M. de Buhy, a family which was 
well known in the neighbourhood of Paris. God shut 
their ears so that they heeded him not. M. du Plessis 
was certain that nobody knew who he was and he begged 
them to consider how vexed they would be if they killed 
a man by mistake, and he told them he could give them 
good references in Paris, and that they ought to put him 
into some house in the neighbourhood, guarding him 
well and in the meantime send some of their number to 
the addresses which he would give them. At length some 
of the less infuriated among them agreed to this. They 
took him to an inn in the neighbourhood where he got 
the innkeeper to serve some breakfast. The gentlest 
threats were for drowning him. He was on the point of 
jumping through the window, but, taking all things into 
consideration, he resolved to brave it out. He gave as 
references the family of Rambouillet, even mentioning 
the Cardinal, just to overawe them, knowing well that 
common people like them would never get a hearing 
from such high nobility. And in fact they did not 
think for a moment of taking this suggestion. They put 
all sorts of questions to him, and the Rouen coach passing 
at that moment they stopped it to see if any passenger 
recognized him for a fellow-townsman, but no one know- 
ing him they decided that he was a liar and again talked 
of drowning him. As he claimed to be a clerk (as idiots 
most usually call the learned) they had a Breviary brought 
to see if he knew latin, and seeing that he did they said 
that it was enough to infect all Rouen, and that he most 
certainly should be done away with. Upon which, so as 
to escape their pestering, he told them that he would 
answer no more questions, for if he had been ignorant 
they would have thought ill of him, and now that it was 
proved that he had some learning they thought worse ; 
and it was clear that they were most unreasonable people 
and they must do what they thought good. 


In the meantime they had sent two of their company 
to the huissier aforementioned, whose address M. du 
Plessis had given them as one of his references, with a 
note from him in the following words, " Sir, I am detained 
by the guard of the Porte St Denis, and by some of the 
inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who will not believe 
that I am Philippe Mornay, your clerk, who has your per- 
mission to visit his relations at Rouen during his holidays. 
I beg you to confirm my statement so that I may be 
allowed to continue my journey." The messengers 
found M. Gerard just starting for the Law Courts, a 
well-dressed and solid looking man. At first he snubbed 
them but afterwards he wrote on the back of the note 
that P. Mornay was neither a rebel nor a seditious fellow 
(he dared not say he was not a huguenot), and this he 
signed with his name. A little servant-boy in the house 
nearly spoilt everything by saying that the new clerk 
only came on the Monday. In the midst of so many 
difficulties we ought to acknowledge how the divine 
goodness and providence of God watches over us and for 
us against all human hope. The note was brought back, 
and straightway looks and words underwent a change, 
and M. du Plessis was reconducted to the place where he 
had been first arrested. So by nine o'clock he parted 
from them and took his way by St Denis, L'Isle Adam, 
and thence to Chantilly on foot, where he found M. de 
Montmorenci. The Marshal was very lukewarm and 
not without reason. He kept M. du Plessis one day 
hoping that the King would disavow the murder of the 
Admiral, in which case he was determined to revenge 
him ; but news to the contrary reaching him he decided 
to bow to the King's will. 

M. du Plessis thereupon set out for Buhy, their family 
house, on a little horse that M. de Montmorenci lent 
him, and slept that night at Ivry le Temple, which he 
reached tired out and drenched. This was on the 
Thursday after the St Bartholomew when the weather 
towards evening was most strange (indeed several folk 

THE GRAND TOUR: 1 567-1 572 109 

escaped from Paris under cover of it). At supper-time 
some of those who were in the same lodgings came into 
his room cursing and saying there must be a huguenot 
among them who ought to be in a fine fright, and glanced 
suspiciously at him. He made no remark and turned 
away as if he took no interest in what they said, so that 
matter passed over and he went to his sleeping chamber. 
The following day he set out for Buhy and on the way 
there only just missed du Borgne de Montafie" and his 
troopers, who had overrun all the French Vexin and had 
carried off prisoners some of the gentlemen, his neigh- 
bours. This escape was due to his meeting with an old 
lady called Desseaux, who had been in service with his 
mother, Mile, de Buhy, and who was being escorted 
along the road by a peasant. M. du Plessis and this 
man recognized each other. The peasant told him to 
look out and added that they had been stopped by the 
abovementioned troop not far from where they then 
were, which was close to Montjavou and a league from 

At Buhy he found the household all scattered and his 
mother away. He had news of her at Buchet, a hamlet 
near to Buhy, from an old serving-man called Saturny, 
who told him she had fled to the house of M. du Lu, a 
neighbour of very moderate means. There he found her, 
and they took comfort together. He told her he intended 
to leave the country after he had escorted her to M. de 
Villarceaux's house, where in truth she found a refuge. 
A few days later M. de Villarceaux' son-in-law, the Baron 
de Montenay, who was a connection of the de Buhy 
family, offered to get him a passport from M. de Guise, 
which would allow him to go wherever he liked. M. du 
Plessis declined the offer, saying that he would not owe 
his life to those of whom his conscience forbade him to 
make use, and that God would open the door to let him 
get out of France, just as He had opened it to let him 
escape from the massacre. Three days later he crossed 
over to England, embarking at Polet, a suburb of Dieppe, 


by the help of his brother-in-law, M. Auberville, who 
employed for that service captain Montiut to whom he 
was deeply indebted. There was so bad a storm that 
the sailors talked of putting in at Calais which would have 
suited them as ill as if they had been carried off to Peru. 
But God stilled the storm and brought them to the haven 
of Rye where M. du Plessis was very well received by the 
English. And his only consolation in this ship was the 
screams of some women and children who fled the same 
shipwreck as himself across the waves. This was the 9th 
day after the massacre. I must add that he often told 
me that from the very moment when he heard of the 
massacre he lifted up his heart to God and straightway 
felt a certain assurance of escape. And not only escape 
but of justice which has already been made manifest to 
those who observe the ways of justice carefully. On the 
other hand, M. Raminy only looked for death and in 
truth he was slain on Wednesday the 27th August just 
as he thought he could get out safely by the Porte St 
Honore" and rejoin M. du Plessis. 


An Escape from the Massacre of 
St Bartholomew 

At the time of the massacre I had been living in Paris 
for two years, detained by the business of settling the 
division of the property of the late M. de la Borde, 
along with my mother, my brothers and my sister de 
Vaucelas. My father died on the 15th August 1570 at 
the time peace was made after the last troubles before 
the massacre. In early youth my father had studied, 
and afterwards had travelled, in Germany and Italy. 
I remember hearing him say that he had several times 
listened to preachings in Strasbourg, and had even been 
present at disputations between Master Martin Luther 
and other learned doctors. He had thus learnt some- 
thing of the abuses in the Roman Church, but he had 
never been instructed in the true religion. He came 
back to Paris to meet his mother, Dame Magdalene 
Desfeugerais, and once there he thought no more of 
seeking religious instruction, but only of getting married 
and securing some suitable appointment. Shortly after- 
wards he married Dame Magdalene Chevalier, 1 my 
mother, by whom he had several children. He also 
obtained a post as president in the Chambres des Comptes 
of Paris which he filled with integrity. He was beloved 
by those who did business with him for he hated all 
gifts, even to refusing fruit and sweets. 

A little time before the first troubles began the Prince 
and Princess of Conde" asked my father to let them lodge 
at his house so as to be near the Louvre, for he lived at la 

1 Great-granddaughter of Etienne Chavalier, for whom Foucquet illumin- 
ated the famous "Heures de Chevalier." 


Chasse, rue des Bourdonnetz. While the Prince was 
there preachings were held, and this fact was much com- 
mented on, when the first troubles started soon after. 
It was on this account that my father, who had been ill 
and who had gone to a little house he possessed at Arcueil, 
was surrounded by three or four thousand men who had 
marched out of Paris to take him prisoner. On seeing 
this mob my father broke open several barrels of wine 
for the soldiers and asked to speak with their officers. 
M. Marcel, at that time Prevot des March ands of Paris, 
who ever afterwards declared that he accepted the 
position of leader with the sole object of saving my 
father's life, was among them. My father handed over 
to them all his most valuable plate and rings to save 
them from the pillaging rabble they had with them, 
who had already seized most of his servants, calling them 
preachers and huguenots, though of a truth they were 
all men who went to mass every day and knew nothing 
of the true religion. My father, thinking to ride with 
them, was pulled off his horse and dragged to Paris on 
foot, sometimes with a pistol at his throat and sometimes 
a dagger, and in this wise was taken to the Faubourg St 
Marceau where he remained a prisoner. M. de Brissac, 1 
at that time Governor of Paris, who was very friendly 
with my father, promptly set him at liberty, but not 
before he had abjured the truth, which, after all, was no 
great matter for him because he had no immediate 
thought of deserting the mass. At the same time seeing 
that he could not live safely in Paris he decided to retire 
to his country house at la Borde, where he stayed through- 
out the troubles. M. de Guise had a mind to take him 
and his house by surprise, and did in truth damage his 
property not a little. The reason for this particular 
hatred of my father both by M. de Guise and by the 
Paris populace is to be traced to the preachings in his 
house in Paris. Besides this the first Sacrament at which 
the Prince was present was to have been held in the 

x Charles de Cosse, Comte de Brissac, Marshal of France, 1507-1563. 


fields at la Borde, when in that same afternoon the Duke 
of Guise, whilst crossing the forest on his way to Fon- 
tainebleau, met and very nearly fought with the Prince. 
Furthermore, my father had not only lent but had also 
gone surety for considerable sums of money for the 
Prince's use, and it was supposed that without such help 
from his supporters he would have been too hard up to 
have been able to defend himself in the wars against him, 
and that he would have been more easily brought to ruin. 
M. de la Borde, my father, finding himself persecuted 
for a religion which he had never professed, recognized 
the goodness of God which thus manifested itself, and 
took steps to receive instruction. He conferred with 
two ministers, M. Gaudet and M. de Miremont in the 
Marquise de Rothelin's house at Blandy, a league away 
from his own house. After receiving instruction he 
made public profession of the true religion, and God 
gave him grace to remain steadfast in it to the last breath 
of his life. On the first journey he took to Paris after 
peace was made he sought out the same company before 
whom he had abjured the faith, none of them yet knowing 
that he had since professed the reformed religion. He 
asked them to give him the book in which they had 
forced him to sign his abjuration : having it in his hand 
he told them publicly and freely how deeply he regretted 
that he had been a traitor to God, in that he had cared 
so little for his salvation as to deny even that small part 
of the truth which he had known. Thus saying he erased 
his signature, adding that at any rate those who might 
hereafter know of his fault would also know of his repent- 
ance. During the years 1569 and 1570 he was almost 
always ill and never left his house. His property was 
seized, his furniture was inventoried and a garrison was 
quartered on him. Throughout the whole time he 
received the consolations of M. de Miremont, minister 
of the Church, who often came to see him. M. de 
Morvillier, at that time senior conseiller d'etat, knowing 
how ill he was and that he needed change of air, sent to 



offer him his abbey of St Pere at Melun, whither my 
father had himself carried in a litter, leaving my three 
brothers at home, all three dangerously ill. On his 
arrival at Melun he fainted, caused, as the doctors thought, 
by a fall coming along the road. The next day just as he 
was dispatching one of his servants to get news of my 
brothers he was seized with a second fainting fit and had 
time to say no more than these words, " Lord, it is eight- 
and- fifty years since Thou gavest me a soul. Thou 
gavest it white and unsoiled : I give it back besmirched 
and foul. Wash it in the blood of Jesus Christ Thy Son." 
Saying which he gave back his soul to God at Melun, of 
which place he was lord and viscount. His body was 
taken to Chatillon, in the parish of la Borde, which now 
belongs to my eldest brother, M. Guy Arbaleste, lord of 
la Borde and Chatillon. 

Soon after the death of the late M. de la Borde, my 
mother, my brothers, my sister de Vaucelas and I 
myself went to Paris, where the division of his property 
between us was made. At that time I was a widow, 
having been married at the age of eighteen to M. Jean 
de Pas, lord of Feuqueres. We were married in the 
year 1567, just at the moment when King Charles IX 
retired from Meaux to Paris, and the troubles of St 
Denis began. I will give you a very brief account of my 
first husband. He was brought up as a page to the Duke 
of Orleans, 1 and after his death, the late King Francois I, 
the Duke's father, took him as gentleman-in-waiting in 
his own house. Later on he was attached to King 
Francois II, 2 then dauphin of France, who was only a 
child. The Dauphin took a fancy to him and generally 
made him sleep in the wardrobe-room along with the 
Keeper of the wardrobe, for he rarely liked him out of 
his sight. And not being old enough to say his name 
Feuqueres he called him Frigallet. Whilst in extreme 
youth he had a company of the King's guard and was 

1 Charles, 3rd son of Frangois I, d. 1545. 

2 Grandson of Francois I, d. 1560. 














made Governor of Roye, a place on the frontier of 
Picardy. Madame du Peron, seeing how much he was 
loved by his masters and how popular he was at court, 
begged him to make her son cornet in his company. 
Her son afterwards became Duke of Retz ' and Marshal 
of France. For some time Monsieur de Feuqueres was 
fighting in Picardy with the Admiral, and, notwithstand- 
ing his youth, was one of the Marechaux de camp. 
Whilst in these parts he often heard a Cordelier, dressed 
in his monk's frock, preaching the truth, and he listened 
with pleasure and began to have some knowledge of the 
errors of the Roman Church. Later on he went to 
Italy with M. de Guise, 3 and whilst there the French 
gentlemen who accompanied the said Duke did homage 
to the Pope and kissed his toe. But M. de Feuqueres 
remarked that for a little money given to the Pope a 
man was free to eat meat in Lent and on other forbidden 
days, whereas also by the Pope's authority, another 
might be burnt for eating an egg. This troubled his 
conscience with a longing to learn how he might seek the 
truth. And yet on the other hand he felt himself on 
the road to advancement in the court and on the point 
of acquiring honours and wealth which he could never 
hope to possess if he were to make profession of the 
truth ; on the contrary he might expect banishment 
from France where the fires of persecution were alight. 
I have often heard him say that the difficulties in making 
his choice between the two paths made him ill. At 
length, after reading the second Psalm, he determined to 
forget all worldly considerations, learning by it that 
kings and princes more often than not leagued themselves 
against God and against Christ his beloved King. From 
that moment he resolved to quit the mass and its errors 
and to profess the truth. At the same time he did not 
abandon the Court, even listening in company with a 
few other zealots to sermons in the Queen mother's 

1 Gondi, Albert de. His mother had charge of the children of Henri II. 
8 Francois, Due de Guise. He was in Italy from Dec. 1556 to autumn 


room whilst she was at dinner in the company of some of 
her ladies-in-waiting, who were protestants. 

About this time M. de Feuqueres took part in the 
attempt on Amboise 1 although so cleverly and so secretly 
that he was merely suspected and could never be arrested. 
An official, who was made prisoner on this charge, had 
his life given him by M. de Guise on condition that, 
dressed like a priest and moving about the vestibule, 
chamber and anti-chamber of the King and Queen 
mother he should discover who was concerned in the affair. 
And he did in truth accuse several gentlemen who were 
arrested and in great trouble but he could never get hold 
of M. de Feuqueres although he knew about him. God 
always stood in his way as M. de Feuqueres has often 
related. He was also at Orleans when the Prince of 
Conde was arrested. He could see that the King, his 
master, looked askance at him and his guardian angel 
warned him to depart. He thereupon went to Chatillon 
to join the Admiral who was on the point of setting out 
for Orleans to clear himself. M. de Feuqueres offered 
to accompany him but the Admiral advised against it 
and so instead he went to Paris. There news came of 
the death of his master, King Francois II, which set him, 
and many others, free from anxiety. 

On the outbreak of the first troubles the late King 
Charles sent him to the Dukes of Lorraine and Savoy, both 
of whom offered him service and a place at Court. The 
Duke of Savoy even made him a specially good offer, to 
wit that he should be made a general both for offensive 
and defensive war and should direct the fortification of 
various places as need arose. On his return to court, 
where he saw the King and the Queen Mother, he found 
that the Prince of Conde had withdrawn from the court 
and had seized Orleans. After he had given a report on 
his mission he was commanded by the Queen Mother to 
follow the Prince and assure him of her goodwill in all 

1 La turaulte d'Amboise, March 1560, a huguenot plot under Renaudie 
in which Louis, Prince de Conde, was implicated. 


matters concerning both his person and his estate, and to 
implore him to be a protector of mother and child 
against the family of Guise. In accordance with these 
orders he joined the Prince, who did him the honour to 
appoint him his senior marechal de camp in his army, in 
which position he acquitted himself in a way which won 
him much praise. During the siege of Orleans he stayed 
in the town, busy with the fortifications and other 
matters and those who were there with him acknowledge 
that most of what was well done in the town could be 
attributed to his ability and zeal. During these troubles 
and also when they were over he was high in the favour 
of the Prince of Porcien. 1 He accepted a lieutenancy in 
his company of men-at-arms, realizing on the one hand 
that he could not expect to be welcomed at court at 
once, whilst on the other the Prince of Porcien was full 
of zeal and love for the Faith and, moreover, promised to 
do great things for it. And in truth, peace being made 
and all the Huguenots being in disgrace at Court, the 
Prince retired into Champagne, where he engaged M. de 
Feuqueres to fortify Linchamps in Ardennes, which 
belonged to the Lady Catherine of Cleves, his wife. 
She married M. de Guise after the Prince's death. 
Shortly before the troubles of St Denis began the late 
M. de Feuqueres came to Paris. He had a mind to get 
married and approached my father on the subject, setting 
before him certain gifts of land and legacies left him by 
the Prince of Porcien who had died three months before. 
Our marriage was arranged and notice given on a Thursday 
for the wedding to take place on the Sunday following, 
which was St Michael's day. 

However M. de Feuqueres received a summons from 
the Prince of Conde - to take part in the enterprise of 
Meaux. So he left on the Friday morning with his 
retinue, and by good luck got out of Paris. M. de la 
Borde, my father, wishing to leave that same afternoon, 
ran into great danger, and if the Marechal de Vielle- 

1 Antoine de Croi. 


ville had not arrived in Paris at that moment my father 
and all of us would have been detained. We got out and 
went to Brie Comte Robert. The Prince of Conde's 
enterprise coming to naught, the late M. de Feuqueres 
followed us and we were married on St Michael's day 
just as the King rode into Paris, which was, as I have said, 
the first event in the second troubles. We went to la 
Borde, to my father's house, whence M. de Feuqueres 
departed on the following Tuesday to join the Prince 
and the Admiral. His rank as marechal de camp was con- 
firmed and a company of men-at-arms given him. He 
filled this post right through the troubles with much 
honour and the praise of all. It was he, who at the 
battle of St Denis, after the charges were over, recon- 
noitred the enemy, and in consequence, on his assur- 
ances to the Prince and the Admiral that the enemy had 
retreated into Paris with all his cannon, our quarters at 
St Denis and our army's quarters were both maintained. 
Throughout the march into Lorraine, as I have often 
heard him say, our army was so well quartered that the 
enemy could never rush any of our camps nor get to 
blows with any of our troops. But we must acknowledge 
that God manifestly blessed his zeal in his charge. For 
instance, I have heard him tell how at Notre-Dame de 
l'Epine he thought there were no mortal means by which 
a battle could be avoided in a position which would have 
been very disadvantageous for the Prince and his army, 
and how, as the Prince camped, a severe frost set in all 
the night which enabled the troops to march at break of 
day, and to traverse, with ease, a league or so of very bad 
road which had stopped them just at that point. They 
were no sooner over it than the enemy reached its other 
end, but God willed that a thaw should come at the 
selfsame moment which held the enemy in camp the 
whole day, unable to pass. Thus the prince evaded the 
battle and could effect a junction with his foreign troops, 
and so strengthened, march to Chartres where peace was 


During this march I was at Orleans whither my father 
had gone to escape the troubles, while Mile, de la Borde, 
my mother, who did not profess the reformed religion, 
was free to stay either in Paris or in some of our other 
houses doing the best she could to protect our property. 
From Orleans we went to la Borde where we passed the 
whole of the spring. When summer came we bid my 
father farewell and I never saw him again. My husband 
and I went to the Ardennes where we met with many 
difficulties from the various governors of the district, 
who knew M. de Feuqueres to be devoted to the Religion 
and to be an able soldier. Every day some attempt to 
assassinate him was made. In the month of August 
1568, the Prince of Condd, who was at Noyers, sent for 
him but M. de Feuqueres had scarcely had time to 
gather his friends and to mount a-horseback before he 
learnt that the Prince had retreated to la Rochelle, 
finding it impossible, with due regard to his own safety, 
to await the day fixed for the rendezvous. M. de 
Feuqueres waited a few weeks and then made an agree- 
ment with M. de Genlis and several other gentlemen, 
who found themselves in the same predicament, to send 
a messenger to the Prince of Orange asking whether he 
would like them all to join with him. He was overjoyed 
with the proposal for the help came at a very opportune 
moment. When the Prince of Orange asked Monsr. de 
Malberg about these French lords who were about to 
join him M. de Malberg spoke very affectionately of 
M. de Feuqueres and praised him highly, which was the 
reason why the Prince, on the arrival of the French 
troops, greeted him with special kindness and employed 
him on every possible occasion. The Prince of Orange 
with his army of Germans and French quitted the Low 
Countries and crossing Picardy and Champagne joined 
the Duke of Deux Ponts ' on the German frontier. 

In this same month God gave us Suzanne de Pas, our 
eldest daughter, and the only child of the late M. de 

1 Wolfgang of Bavaria, Duke of Zweibriicke or Deux Ponts. 


Feuqueres. I was brought to bed with her at Sedan 
the 29th December 1568. Her godfather was M. 
Doncher and his wife was her godmother. M. de 
Feuqueres was never able to see me on his marches to 
and fro, for he could not leave the army on account of 
his office of marechal de camp, which he held under the 
Duke of Deux Ponts during his march on la Charite\ M. 
de Feuqueres knew the town, and the battery being made 
ready, those in command within surrendered in the 
month of May 1569. M. de Feuqueres was wounded in 
the leg before this place by the kick of a horse, and a 
fever supervening he gave up his soul to God to the 
sorrow of all honest men, leaving behind him a happy 
memory. This was on the 23rd of May in the aforesaid 
year. I was nineteen years old, in deep trouble, away 
from my native land and from all means of livelihood 
and harassed with an infinite amount of business. While 
at Sedan I learnt of my father's death, the late M. de la 
Borde, of a sister's death who was just about to be 
married and of my father-in-law's death as well. Such 
little property as I possessed had been seized on account 
of the troubles ; and I never saw so much as a farthing 
of M. de Feuqueres' fortune. But God raised me up 
friends, and helped me through all my troubles. Never- 
theless, my health has never been good from that time 
forth, and most of the doctors who have attended me 
have attributed it to the burden of sorrow then laid 
upon me. Peace being made my mother sent for me to 
come to Paris, where, after having helped in the division 
of my late father's estate, I lingered on to try and get my 
daughter's inheritance from her father settled. And 
I was still there when the massacre of St Bartholomew 
took place. 

For the sake of my health and to divert my mind 
from so many matters of business I had arranged to spend 
the winter with my sister de Vaucelas and, as I was to 
start on the Monday following St Bartholomew's Day, I 
intended to go to the Louvre on the Sunday to take 


leave of the Princess de Conti, 1 Mme de Bouillon,' the 
Marchioness de Rothelin and Mme de Dampierre. But 
whilst I was yet abed one of my kitchen-maids, who was a 
protestant, and who lodged in the town, came running 
to me in terror saying that men were being killed on 
every side. I do not let myself be easily dismayed but 
having put on my petticoat and looked out of the window 
I saw down in the Rue St Antoine, where I lodged, 
people in a turmoil and several companies of the guard 
every one of them having a white cross fastened to his 
hat. I could see that the girl's news was real and I sent 
to my mother's house, where my brothers were, to know 
what was the matter. Every one there was in great alarm 
because at that time my brothers called themselves 
protestants. M. Pierre Chevalier, bishop of Senlis, my 
maternal uncle, sent me word to put my valuables together 
and he would send for me immediately, but just as he 
was sending someone to fetch me news came that the 
late M. Charles Chevalier seigneur d'Esprunes, who was 
much attached to the reformed religion, had been killed 
in the Rue de Bdtisy where he lodged so as to be near the 

And this was one reason why M. de Senlis forgot all 
about me, as well as the fact that when he tried to go 
down the street he was arrested, and if he had not 
crossed himself when bidden he would have been in 
danger of his life. But this he did willingly for he had no 
knowledge of the truth. After waiting half an hour and 
seeing the tumult in my street increasing, I sent my 
daughter, who was three years and a half old, in the arms 
of a servant girl to the house of M. de Perreuze, at that 
time maitre des requites in the King's household, and 
one of the kindest of my kinsmen and friends. M. de 
Perreuze took the child in by a back door and sent me 
word that I should be welcome if I liked to come too. 
I accepted his offer and went to his house, I being the 

1 Jeanne de Coesme, m. Francois, 3rd son of Louis, Prince de Cond6. 
1 Wife of Henri Robert de la Marck, Due de Bouillon. 


seventh to take shelter there. Our host had not yet really 
understood what was happening, but after sending one of 
his men to the Louvre the man brought word of the 
Admiral's death and of ever so many more lords and 
gentlemen and that the whole town was in an uproar. By 
this time it was eight o'clock in the morning. I had scarcely 
left my lodgings before the Duke of Guise's servants 
arrived, bade my landlord give me up and searched high 
and low for me. Not being able to find me they sent to 
my mother with an offer to guarantee my life and property 
if I would bring them ioo crowns. My mother sent word 
of this offer to M. de Perreuze's house, but after thinking 
it over carefully I decided that it was better that they 
should neither know my whereabouts, nor that I should 
go to them, but rather to beg my mother to say that she 
did not know what had become of me, and at the same 
time to offer them the money they demanded. Getting 
no news of me they pillaged my lodgings. 

The following people had taken refuge in M. de 
Perreuze's house, to wit, M. de Landres and his wife Mile 
de Chaufreau, M. de Mattio and all their households, 
more than forty persons in all. In order to divert sus- 
picion M. de Perreuze was obliged to send to a distant 
quarter of the town to get in supplies for so large a 
number. Either he or his wife stood at the door 
of his house to say a word of greeting to M. de Guise 
or to M. de Nevers 1 or other catholic lords as they 
passed to and fro, as well as to the city captains 
who were pillaging the houses of huguenots in the 
neighbourhood. We were all there till Tuesday but 
however good a face M. de Perreuze put on he could not 
escape suspicion, so that orders were given that his house 
was to be searched on Tuesday afternoon. Most of 
those who had taken refuge there had already gone else- 
where and only the late Mile de Chaufreau and I were 
left. Our host was obliged to hide us, Mile de Chaufreau 
and her waiting-woman in the woodhouse outside, and 

1 Louis de Gonzague, Due de Nevers, 1539-1595- 


me and one of my women in a hollow gable ; the rest of 
our servants disguised and hid themselves as they best 
could. Whilst I was in this hollow above the attic I 
heard the most terrible cries from men, women and 
children who were being murdered in the streets, and 
having left my child below I fell into the greatest per- / 
plexity and almost despair so that, had I not feared God's 
wrath, I would far sooner have flung myself down than 
have fallen alive into the hands of the mob, or have seen 
my daughter massacred before my eyes, which would 
have been more terrible to me than my own death. But 
one of my servant girls took the child safely through 
every peril and got with her to the house of Dame 
Marie Guillard, Dame d'Esprunes, my maternal grand- 
mother, and there she left her, and my grandmother 
kept her till her own death. That same Tuesday after- 
noon in the very street where M. de Perreuze lived, 
Vielle rue du Temple, the President de la Place 1 (of 
happy memory) was killed under pretence of taking 
him to the King to save his life. M. de Perreuze, seeing 
an attack made so close to his house, and he himself 
threatened, employed M. de Thou 2 (the King's Advocate 
and at the present time President in the court of Parlia- 
ment) to safeguard us and to preserve his house from 
pillage. This outbreak of violence passing by him more 
easily than he had thought likely it next became a question 
how to disguise us and get us away to other quarters. I 
could not go to my mother's house because a guard had 
been set in it, so I went to the house of a smith who had 
married one of my mother's women, a turbulent fellow 
who was captain of his quarter. I counted on his doing 
me no hurt on account of the kindnesses that my mother 
had done him. My mother came there in the evening 
to see me, more dead than alive and much more shivery 
than I was. I spent the night at this blacksmith's hearing 

1 Pierre de la Place, President a la Cour des Aides, historian and cal- 
vinist theologian, 1 520-1572. 

2 Christophe de Thou, premier President, 1508-1582. 


the huguenots abused and seeing the booty brought in 
from the pillaged houses. The blacksmith told me 
roundly that I must go to mass. On the Wednesday 
morning my mother sent to the president Tambonneau, 
and also to her godmother, Mile Morin, wife of the 
Lieutenant Criminel and mother of the Chancellor 
L'Hospital's 1 wife, who was still living at that time, 
imploring their help in saving me. About noon I went 
to see them all alone, and not knowing the way I followed 
a little boy who walked ahead of me. They were lodged 
in the Cloisters of Notre-Dame and the only people 
present were Mile Morin, the Chancellor's mother-in- 
law, M. and Mme Tambonneau, and their brother, M. de 
Paraz ; and besides these only one of their serving-men, 
Jacques Minier, knew of my presence. I got into the 
house secretly and I was lodged in the president Tam- 
bonneau's study all that Wednesday and the Thursday 
up to nightfall. But on Thursday evening word was 
sent that the house was to be searched for M. de Chaumont 
Barbezieux, who was their kinsman, and for Mme de 
Belesbat, their sister, and fearing that during the search 
I might be discovered they were of opinion that I ought to 
move elsewhere. I was taken at midnight to a corn- 
chandler's house, a man who had been their servant and 
who was a worthy fellow. I was with him for five days, 
helped by M. and Mme de Tambonneau and all their 
fan ily. Indeed I received such generous friendship and 
assistance in my need that, apart from the relationship 
between Mme de Tambonneau and myself, there will 
never be a day of my life when I do not feel deeply 
indebted to them all. 

On the following Wednesday, Mile de la Borde, my 
mother, having had time to get her breath and find 
means to save my brothers from shipwreck by inducing 
them to go to mass, concluded that she could save me in 
the same manner. She therefore sent our cousin M. de 

1 Michel de l'Hospital, 1507-1573, huguenot Chancellor of Catherine de 


Paroz to talk with me but after several discussions together 
he found me, by God's grace, very far from consenting. 
On the Wednesday morning, that is eleven days after St 
Bartholomew's day, after my mother had done every- 
thing she possibly could to win my consent, and instead 
of the answer she wanted receiving nothing but entreaties 
that she would help me to escape from Paris, she finally 
threatened to send my little daughter back to me. I 
could make no other answer but that I would take the 
child in my arms and we would be both massacred 
together, but at the same time I determined to leave 
Paris whatever might happen to me. I begged the man 
who had brought my mother's messages to take a place 
for me in a stage waggon or in some boat plying up the 
Seine. During the time that I stayed with the corn- 
chandler I suffered not a little. I was lodged in a room 
above one in which lived Mme de Foissy, which made it 
impossible to move about for fear of being heard ; neither 
could they let me have a light as much on her account as 
on the neighbours'. When anything was brought me 
to eat it was hidden in an apron under the pretence of 
fetching linen for this Mme de Foissy. 

At length I left these lodgings on Wednesday, the 
eleventh day after the massacre, at eleven in the morning 
and took my place in a boat going to Sens. My friends 
would not take a seat for me in the stage waggon, partly 
because they are so very public and partly they feared I 
might be recognized. On getting into the boat, which 
was bound for Sens, I found myself in company with two 
monks and a priest and two shopkeepers and their wives. 
As we passed les Tournelles the boat was stopped and 
passports demanded. Every one produced theirs but me, 
and I had none. Thereupon they all began to say I 
must be a huguenot and that I ought to be drowned. 
They made me get out of the boat. I besought them to 
take me to the house of M. de Voysenon, auditor of 
accounts, who was a friend of mine and my grandmother 
Mile d'Esprune's man of business. He was a staunch 


catholic and I assured them that he would answer for 
me. Two soldiers marched me up to the house. It was 
God's will that they remained standing at the door and 
let me go up alone. I found poor M. de Voysenon 
terribly upset and though I was in disguise he would call 
me Mademoiselle and tell me all about several people 
who had taken refuge with him. I told him I had no 
time to listen to him because I thought every minute the 
soldiers would follow me, and I added it seemed that God 
had chosen him to be the means of saving my life and if 
he failed I was as good as dead. So he went down to the 
soldiers and told them he had met me at the house of 
Mile d'Esprunes whose son was the Bishop of Senlis, 
and they were very good catholics and well known as 
such. The soldiers answered very curtly that they were 
not inquiring about those folk but about me. He replied 
that he had known me to be a catholic at one time, but 
what I was now he couldn't say. At that moment an 
honest woman came by and asked what they wanted to 
do with me. " By God, drown her for a huguenot. 
Can't you see what a fright she's in." And in truth I 
thought every moment they would throw me in the river. 
" You know me," said the woman. " I'm no huguenot. 
I go to mass every day but I've been in such a fright for 
this week past that I'm all in a fever." " By God," 
said one of the soldiers, " so are we all. It's given me the 
scab." So they put me back into the boat, telling me 
that if I had been a man I should not have got off so 
cheap. That very same time as I was arrested in the 
boat my lodging at the corn-chandler's was ransacked and 
if I had been discovered in it I should have been in great 
danger. We went on our way and night found us at a 
place which is called little la Borde. The whole after- 
noon the monks and the shopkeepers talked of nothing 
but of their joy in what they had seen in Paris, and if I 
said a word they told me I talked like a huguenot. So 
the only thing I could do was to feign sleep so that there 
was no occasion for me to speak. 


As we came off the boat I caught sight of Minier, the 
man I mentioned before, who had been sent by Mme 
Tambonneau to learn what had become of me for, 
having heard of my arrest, she was in great trouble on 
my account. It was this man who had acted as go- 
between for my mother and me and carried all her 
messages. He signed to me not to take notice of him 
but as it was he who had taken my passage on the boat 
the women with me recognized him. I managed to tell 
him this without being seen by them so he came into the 
room where we all were and told me his mistress had 
sent him to look after the vintage. At supper he sat at 
table with us and calling me Charlotte, bade me fetch 
him wine. This dispelled all their doubts of me. There 
was but one sleeping-room in this inn where we were, 
with three beds in it ; the monks and priest slept in one, 
the two shopkeepers in another, and their wives and I in 
the third. I was very uneasy for I was wearing a shift 
made of Holland, trimmed with point-lace which Mme 
de Tambonneau had lent me and I thought that the 
women would see I wasn't the servant girl I pretended 
to be if I slept with them. On Thursday morning, as 
we were going aboard, Minier declined to come too 
because he said boats always made him feel ill. He 
whispered to me not to get off at either Corbeil nor 
Melun, of which latter place we were Seigneurs, for fear 
I should be recognized and so run into danger, but to 
remember to get off at the village of Ivry about a league 
from Corbeil. When I saw Ivry I asked the boatman to 
let me get on shore but he refused. But it was God's 
will that just opposite the village the boat should ground 
which obliged him to disembark us all. After paying 
the boatman, Minier and I walked to Ivry and being 
there he decided to take me to Bouschet, another league 
further on and close to the house of the Chancellor 
L'Hospital. Bouschet belonged to the President Tam- 
bonneau and Minier meant me to shelter with his vine- 
dresser. We covered five leagues afoot. He left me 


with this poor labourer and went on to Vallegrand, the 
Chancellor's house, to see if I could take refuge there 
with Mme de l'Hospital. However he found them all 
in an upset for the King had quartered a large garrison on 
them on pretence of protecting the Chancellor, and his 
wife had been forced to go to mass. M. de l'Hospital 
sent word by Minier that I was very welcome to come to 
his house on the understanding that I would go to mass. 
He did not, however, expect me to agree to this condition 
after all the dangers I had experienced in escaping from 
Paris to avoid this very thing. I stayed on with the vine- 
dresser for fifteen days while Minier went back to Paris. 
By ill-luck Queen Elizabeth's • Swiss came to turn the 
village upside-down in a search for some miserable 
huguenot, just at the very time that I reached Bouschet, 
but by God's grace they left the house where I was 
alone because it had a warrant against search. These 
Swiss served me for an excuse to stay indoors and not to 
be bothered to go to mass, even when there was a 
procession of the entire parish. The poor vine-dresser 
greatly regretted the neighbouring families of the gentry 
who had all been massacred, acknowledging that the 
country had no one left so charitable to the poor and so 
worthy as they. He always let me say grace in French 
before and after meat and took me for a servant-girl 
belonging to Mme Tambonneau, as Minier had said. 
At the end of a fortnight I had a mind to go to Brye to 
get advice as to what I had better do. I borrowed an ass 
from the vine-dresser and besought him to escort me. 
To this he consented and we crossed the river Seine 
between Corbeil and Melun, at a place called St Port, 
and from thence I went on to Esprunes, a house which 
belonged to my late grandmother. As soon as I got there 
the servant-girls in the place flung their arms round my 
neck, saying : " Oh, Mademoiselle, we thought you were 
dead." The poor vine-dresser stood still in astonish- 
ment, asking if I were in truth a lady, and on leaving 

1 Isabelle or Elizabeth d'Autrione, wife of Charles IX. 


offered me his house, promising to keep me well hidden 
and to see I was not forced to go to mass, and begging 
me to excuse him because he had not given me the big 
bed to sleep in. Making an end of what he had to say 
he went back home while I stayed for the next fortnight 
at Esprunes. I must not forget to add that the chaplain 
of Esprunes, who lived at Melun, came to see me, and 
among other consoling remarks he told me that " Since 
God's judgments were manifest among His children it 
behoved the wicked and the evil-doer to be smitten with 

At the end of a fortnight I again mounted an ass and 
after a ride of four leagues reached the house of my 
eldest brother, M. de la Borde. I found him in great 
vexation of spirit, partly because to save his life he was 
forced to go to mass, and partly because he was pursued 
by demands to swear to all sorts of abjurations. Our 
friends in Paris, when they heard that I was with him, 
were alarmed lest I should persuade him from taking 
these oaths, and told him plainly that I should be his 
ruin if he let me stay at la Borde without going to mass. 
In consequence on the following Sunday he took me into 
the chapel, knowing that the priest was there ; but I, 
catching sight of the man, turned my back on my brother 
and went away weeping bitterly. My brother was sorry 
then that he had ever said a word to me on the subject. 
I decided to stay no longer at la Borde, but as, when I 
left Paris, I had only fifteen silver testons in my purse 
and no clothes but those I wore as a disguise, I spent a 
whole week trying to find a carter who would take me 
to Sedan. Out of 1500 • crowns which were owing to me 
in that neighbourhood I got forty paid. Whilst I was 
waiting one of my waiting-women and one of my men- 
servants joined me. I told my brother of my plan, 
which he thought very dangerous. All the same he 
persuaded my carter, who was making difficulties, to take 
me, only imploring me not to tell my mother and our 

1 Part of her inheritance from her father. 


other friends that he knew about my going because he 
was afraid they would all be so angry with him. His 
farewell to me was his assurance that as I was so full of 
love and zeal for God He would surely bless my journey 
and my person ; as indeed it came to pass by His mercy. 
I reached Sedan on All Souls' Day, Nov. ist, without let 
or hindrance on my way. On reaching Sedan I found 
many friends who offered me help of all sorts. I was not 
an hour in the town before I was once more dressed like 
a lady, each one lending me something, and I was 
welcomed with every kindness and distinction by the 
Duke and Duchess of Bouillon. I stayed at Sedan until 
my marriage with M. du Plessis as I will relate in due time. 


Refugees at Sedan 

I must now return to M. du Plessis who had escaped into 
England after the massacre. He was well received in 
that country and welcomed by everybody of quality and 
sound doctrine, and whilst there he made many friend- 
ships which have stood him in good stead in subsequent 
negotiations. He found his first consolation in the 
affection of two old friends who remembered him in 
his misfortunes. The first was that M. Hubert Languet, 
a Burgundian, of whom mention has already been made. 
This gentleman chanced to be in Paris at the time of the 
massacre employed by Duke Auguste, Elector of Saxony, 
and other protestant princes of the empire in a negotia- 
tion with King Charles. M. Languet, counting on his 
immunity as an ambassador in the midst of the fury of 
the massacre, set out, in danger of his life, to save M. du 
Plessis and to furnish him with means to escape to 
Germany. Whilst on his way he was seized by the 
mob and taken to the Madeleine, whence he was released 
by M. de Morvillier, 1 chief Councillor of State, though 
not before he stood in fear of his life. As he heard that 
M. du Plessis had already left Paris and as it was impossible 
to know which road he would take, and, furthermore, as 
whichever way he went he was sure to be in need of 
friends, M. Languet wrote to various friends of his own 
both in the chief towns of Germany, England and else- 
where, authorizing them to supply M. du Plessis with as 
much money as he wanted on his, M. Languet's security. 
By the grace of God M. du Plessis had no need to avail 

1 Jean de Morvillier, 1506-1577. Garde des Sceaux, 1568-1570. 



himself of this assistance. The other friend in his need 
was Sir Francis Walsingham, at that time the Queen of 
England's ambassador to the French Court, and since 
her Secretary of State. He, of his own accord sent a 
special courier with letters to his mistress the Queen and 
to all the most notable lords of the Council in England, 
recommending M. du Plessis to them as a person in whom 
they might place complete confidence in whatsoever 
business they pleased. Nor was this a small recom- 
mendation when one considers what a reputation for 
perfidy the French had earned by the massacre, and also 
when one remembers that M. du Plessis was but 23 years 
old. For a while he spent the weary days common to 
all refugees with his books. He wrote several papers 
both in Latin and in French addressed to the Queen, 
imploring her to uphold the Church, which papers are 
still in the possession of divers people, together with 
certain explanations of the calumnies on the French 
protestants which were spread abroad. He was even 
employed on various negotiations with the Queen, both 
by the Prince of Orange and the Estates General of 
Holland and Zealand (who had, so far, never seen him), 
as well as on behalf of the Duke of Alencon. 1 The Duke 
had various projects on hand against King Charles, and 
proposed, if they succeeded, to cross over into England 
and raise all the French protestants in that country. 

The condition of France was so horrible that M. du 
Plessis could not think of returning there until things 
had changed although his family were for ever begging 
him to come back. Instead he turned over in his mind 
various plans, such as going to Sweden, where his relative 
Charles de Mornay de Varennes was Grand Master ; 
or to Ireland to fight the savages there, or even to Peru 
or to Canada. This last enterprise was suggested by his 
particular friend the late Charles de Boisot, who was 
afterwards Governor of Zealand, who was then almost as 

1 Francois, 5th son Henri II, 1554-1584, Due d'Alencon 1566, Due 
d'Anjou 1576. 


much in despair over the Low Countries as M. du Plessis 
was over France. It was God's will however to save his 
church and to deliver la Rochelle by appointing the 
Duke of Anjou 1 (our present King) to the crown of 
Poland. M. du Plessis was asked very pressingly to go 
with the Duke who was in need of people who knew 
something of foreign tongues and places. I have heard 
M. du Plessis say more than once that, falling into a deep 
meditation, he received an intuition of the near and sure 
deliverance of la Rochelle although he could not imagine 
whence succour would come. And indeed how should 
he think of a matter about which the Poles themselves 
had not yet thought ? The Duke holding to his purpose 
of accepting the crown of Poland certain huguenot lords 
began to take courage, and M. du Plessis resolved to cross 
over to France at the special request of M. de la Noue. 1 

An appeal to arms was made very soon after, which he 
strongly opposed, arguing more than once with M. de 
la Noue that the affairs of the Religion should not be 
mixed up with those of the Duke of Alencon ; it was 
better to let him stand quite apart and have no more 
than a friendly understanding with him. The contrary 
advice was followed and the result did not make him 
change his opinion. It was confirmed by the undue 
haste with which the enterprise of St Germain was 
planned, to which place M. du Plessis had gone to help 
M. de Triore" 3 and M. de Turenne * to escape. They 
were needed for the execution of several important 
undertakings in Normandy which were planned for 
the 10th March 1574, and which were to take place at 
the same time as similar undertakings in other parts of 

Just as matters were arranged with these two lords a 

1 Henri, 4th son Henri II, 1551-1589 ; elected King of Poland 1573 ; 
succeeded his brother Charles IX 1574 ; assassinated 1589. 

* Francois de la Noue, 1531-1591, celebrated huguenot captain and 

» Guillame de Montmorenci, 5th son of Anne, Constable of France. 

* Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, m. Charlotte de la 
Marck, Duchesse de Bouillon 1591, and was created Due de Bouillon. 


man arrived from M. de Guitry announcing to the Duke 
of Alencon that he had taken up arms because those in 
Poitou had already done so, and advising the Duke to 
retire to Mantes and there to do the same. This news 
was considered an outrage for M. de Guitry could very 
well have waited for the Duke's answer before taking up 
arms. All the same a resolution was taken, as well as it 
could be in such haste, that the Duke, the King of Navarre, 
the Prince of Conde" and other lords should go to Mantes. 
They were to get away from the Court early in the morn- 
ing, hunting horns round their necks and guided by M. du 
Plessis. They reckoned on finding the town gate open, 
for Mantes was part of the Duke's apanage ; moreover, 
the garrison was the company of the late Duke of Mont- 
morenci commanded by M. de Buhy who was M. du 
Plessis' brother. But just as M. du Plessis thought he 
could get a couple of hours sleep whilst preparations to 
start were being made, the plans were all changed to his 
very great regret. He protested, when the announce- 
ment of the change was made to him, that arrest and 
imprisonment was a certain thing for them all, as indeed 
it came to pass. They sent him to his brother, M. de 
Buhy, to bid him keep the gate of Mantes open for M. de 
Guitry, and they also sent to M. de Guitry to tell him to 
march to Mantes with his troops which they hoped 
would consist of three hundred gentlemen and a certain 
number of foot-soldiers, and said that once the town was 
taken they would go thither themselves. They never 
stopped to consider that they could not move about with 
troops without giving alarm to the Court, which would 
immediately retire on Paris and arrest them all as suspects. 
M. de Buhy accordingly kept the gate towards Rosny open 
and M. du Plessis found himself at the Bridge Gate between 
five and six in the morning. M. de Guitry could not reach 
Mantes before eight o'clock and had then only forty 
horse with him for many had left him at the rendezvous. 
When they saw that the Duke was not there they merely 
rode round the town and then departed for Normandy. 


M. de Buhy managed so adroitly that at the time nothing 
in his behaviour was noticed and later in the day he 
quietly left the town under pretence of taking news to 
the court of what had passed. Nobody suspected him in 
the least for he let them know that M. de Guitry had a 
long-standing quarrel with him, which was quite true in 
the past. M. du Plessis went to Chantilly, M. de Mont- 
morenci's house, where the brothers met each other. 
M. de Buhy was very unwilling to quit his home, pinning 
his faith on letters which the King and the Queen Mother 
had written to him praising him for his dutiful preserva- 
tion of Mantes. M. du Plessis persisted that this pretence 
could not be kept up for more than four days, and that 
the truth would most certainly be discovered and then 
he would find himself in trouble. So they set out for 
Sedan, passing by way of M. de Conflans, a connection of 
theirs and father of Vicomte d'Auchy. He very readily 
opened his coffer for them, from which they took 200 
crowns, for it was not possible for them to go to their 
own home for money. When they reached Sedan so 
as not to offend the Duke of Bouillon who wished to 
remain neutral, they went, under a feigned name to 
Jametz, a stronghold belonging to the Duke, where they 
stayed till the death of King Charles in May 1574. 
While awaiting this event the Duke of Alencon was 
plotting to get away from Court, and naturally was 
desirous of finding a reasonable number of troops ready 
to support him after his escape. He therefore wrote to 
M. du Plessis begging him to go without delay to Count 
Louis of Nassau, 1 who was camped before Maestricht, 
and induce him to lead his troops into France. The 
mission was full of perils but all the same M. du Plessis 
agreed to go. He shaved off his beard very closely so 
that he could play the part of a page on his way to 
Germany in charge of his servant, in order to learn the 
language at the court of the Count of Neuenaar, brother- 
in-law to the Prince of Orange. A guide who was a 

1 Brother of William, Prince of Orange, killed in battle 1574- 


stranger to him was engaged to conduct them. They 
crossed the Ardennes and arrived at Liege where a number 
of questions were put to him. Thence with a passport 
from the Bishop he crossed over to Aix by a road gener- 
ally infested with Spanish troops ; at Aix they took 
breath and bought scarves 1 of Count Louis' colour so 
that they could join his army which was camped two 
leagues from Maestricht at a town called Gulpen. On 
the road they met with some mercenaries whom he 
interrogated in German. His guide, who knew but 
very little German, was taken aback at hearing M. du 
Plessis talking to them, because he imagined him to be a 
page on his way to learn the language and was not aware 
that he yet knew a single word. So he began to shout 
that he was betrayed but after a little talk with him M. 
du Plessis reassured him and he stayed on in his service. 

And so M. du Plessis at length reached Count Louis 
where he had much private talk with him but was not 
able to move him from his projects. The only thing M. 
du Plessis did do while with the Count was to form an 
opinion that nothing but ruin awaited an army such as 
the Count commanded, made up as it was of men bor- 
rowed from various counts and princes, his relations and 
kinsmen. So, being unable to do any good, he returned 
to Aix and thence set out for Li£ge. But a league or so 
out of Aix, as he was leaving a village called Heury 
Chapelle, he fell into an ambush of harquebusiers coming 
from Limbourg. He had barely time to ride back 
through the village and out by the way he had come in 
before the gate was shut behind him. At the foot of a 
hill he saw six horsemen following and so he set his horse 
at a gallop. By ill-luck his pistols came loose and fell 
owing to a rotten strap and, dismounting to pick them 
up, he allowed those who followed to gain on him. A 
little further on his servant's horse fell and they could 
scarce get it up again, and he then made him go in front. 

1 Soldiers did not wear uniforms, but often wore scarves of various colours 
to indicate their leaders. 


By this time he was very nearly overtaken. It should 
be noted that he rode a horse that generally wore trap- 
pings to its saddle which he had had cut off that very day 
so that he should be able to jump ditches. As he wanted 
to spur on this horse the animal shied to one side to get 
out of the mud, for it was at the beginning of March 
and after heavy rains, and it bolted with him across a 
meadow alongside of the road, and M. du Plessis could 
not hold it in however much he tugged at the reins. At 
the end of the meadow there was a steep drop down 
which the horse plunged, snapping bridle, saddle and all, 
and carried him among the willows by the stream's side. 
At last he managed to seize hold of a branch and to let 
the horse pass under him, but the branch breaking he 
fell on his back, which was bad for a long time, although 
in the heat of the moment he scarcely noticed it. The 
horse feeling itself free of its rider stopped short, and thus 
M. du Plessis was able to catch it again. He made 
certain of death for he could see no way of escape because 
of the width of the stream, and it seemed impossible that 
his pursuers, who were so close on his heels, should not 
find and seize him. In his sore need he first prayed to 
God, and then began to rebuckle the harness and finally 
led his horse along to a place where he could more easily 
regain the road. He saw his hat lying in the meadow and, 
no one being in sight, he dismounted to pick it up. As 
he was remounting his guide crept out of a bush and 
came up to hold his stirrup. M. du Plessis asked what 
had become of his pursuers and the man told him that 
they turned back directly they saw him leave the highway, 
that is to say when the horse bolted with him. They 
captured a foot-soldier called la Roche, otherwise Emery, 
since usher to the King of Navarre's council at Paris, who 
had joined him when he left Count Louis, and they told 
this man that they could see M. du Plessis was trying to 
draw them into an ambush but that they knew how to 
look after themselves. Thus God, as so often, makes 
use of an accident that seems to lead straight to death for 


our preservation and salvation. So he went on his way 
once more to Aix where he engaged a guide to conduct 
him across Luxembourg. The man lost his way the 
very first morning in the great swamps of Limbourg and 
they could hear by the sound of the Spanish drums that 
there were troops on every side. With great difficulty 
they got out of the marshes and came out close by a 
monastery of the order of Premontre called Renneberg 
where he knew five monks were living and, as his horses 
were worn out, he determined to stop there. At first 
the monks made a difficulty about letting him in, but he 
said he was a scholar journeying from Cologne, and as he 
spoke to them in latin and sounded very plausible, they 
opened the door, gave him dinner and fed his horses. 
He talked with them so freely and in such a friendly way 
that they offered to lend him their own horses and were 
full of obliging offers. All he asked for was a letter to 
frank him across the neighbouring frontier ; they gave 
him one to the mayor of Muderscheid, who in turn 
gave him one to the mayor of St Vit, and so on from 
mayor to mayor and from place to place, and thus he 
crossed the whole of Luxembourg without hindrance, 
and came safely to Givonne, close to Sedan. And so at 
last he found himself back in Jametz. It was in March 
1574 that he made this journey. 

As soon as he got back to Jametz he heard of the escape 
of the Prince of Conde from the Court and of his flight 
towards Germany. M. du Plessis went to meet him on 
his way, between Sedan and Mouzon, and rode two 
leagues with him as far as Juvigny. There at the prayer 
of his followers the Prince separated from them for his 
greater safety, and was taken secretly and by by-roads 
to Jametz, where he stayed in hiding for a week till the 
alarm was over. His troops in the meantime continued 
on their way to Germany, through the Metz country, 
just as if he were still with them. A few days later M. de 
M^ru, 1 of the Montmorenci family passed by the same 

1 Charles de Montmorenci, 3rd son of Anne, Constable of France. 


way and M. de Buhy and M. du Plessis kept him in their 
lodgings for a fortnight or thereabout, till the hunt had 
gone by. Then disguising him as a falconer they got 
him safely into Germany in charge of a messenger ' from 
Merville in Luxembourg, who was not acquainted with 

M. du Plessis and his brother stayed on at Jametz till 
the death of King Charles in the following May. M. du 
Plessis passed his time in writing on various subjects, 
and among other things a book entitled " On the lawful 
power of a Prince over his people." a This has since 
been printed and published, but without its being 
widely known who was the author. M. de Buhy, his 
brother, and he saw a good deal of the late Madame de 
Morvillier and also of Mile de Franqueville, her daughter, 
who is now Madame de Vallieres, both of whom had 
taken refuge in Jametz during the troubles. They were 
intimate too with the late M. de Chelandre, captain of 
the place, a very old man, whose son has since succeeded 
him. Immediately after the death of King Charles 
they went back to Sedan so as to be more on the spot 
should anything result from it. 

They lodged with M. de la Mothe, the captain of 
Sedan, a very worthy gentleman and devoted to the 
religion ; his lodging was in a tower over the town gate. 
Now, owing to the troubles in France since the massacre 
of St Bartholomew many noble families and many 
honourable gentlemen of all sorts of professions had taken 
refuge in Sedan so that they found a number of the 
French nobility in their quarter of the town. Among 
others was M. de Bourry, since deceased, their first 
cousin. M. du Plessis also often saw M. d'Hendreville 
with whom he had been very friendly in England, and 
whom he loved and respected highly. This M. d'Hendre- 
ville was a ■premier conseiller in the court of the Parliament 

1 An official employed to carry money, letters, and sometimes to act 
as an escort, especially to young students. 

a It is probable that this is the well-known " Vindiciae contra Tyrannos," 
see Pro. Harold J. Laski : " A defence of liberty against tyrants," 1924. 


of Rouen, a man greatly esteemed and honoured as long 
as he lived, and held to be a man of honour, a just judge, 
free from passion, charitable, a true friend, and he is still 
regretted by all who knew him regardless of which 
religion they might be. M. du Plessis also received daily 
visits from several ministers and men of letters, and 
nothing of importance happened, whether concerning 
the troubles in France and the cause of the religion, or 
concerning the special affairs of the late Duke of Bouillon, 1 
that was not communicated to him. During the time 
he spent at Sedan he wrote both about matters in France 
and the troubles there as occasion arose and also about 
similar troubles in the Low Countries ; among others 
was a paper on the death of Don Louis de Requesens, 
Grand Commander of Castille, who had succeeded the 
Duke of Alva in the Low Countries, which paper was 
sent to the Prince of Orange and was printed in Flemish 
and in French not without bearing fruit. The subject- 
matter was to incite the Estates of the Low Countries to 
rise against tyranny at this moment and to join cause 
with the men of Holland and Zealand, since their interests 
were one and the same, as indeed very shortly after 
came to pass as can be read in history. 

At this time I was living at Sedan and occasionally saw 
something of M. de Buhy and M. du Plessis as well as of 
their younger brother, M. de Baunes. I was living quite 
near to them at the house of M. de Verdavagne, the late 
Duke of Bouillon's doctor. In the following month of 
August M. de Buhy made a secret journey to his own 
house and was away about two months and during his 
absence M. du Plessis and M. de Baunes continued to 
come and see me every day and the polished and honest 
conversation of M. du Plessis never failed to give me 
pleasure. All the same, having lived alone for the five 
years of my widowhood, and wishing to go on in the same 
way of life, I deliberately sounded his intentions by 
remarking how strange I thought it for those who were 

1 Henri Robert de la Marck. 


soldiers to think of marrying in such calamitous times. 
But finding his thoughts far away from marriage and 
knowing how high his reputation was, I concluded that 
the frequency of his visits was due to our close neigh- 
bourhood. Since I had come to Sedan I had taken great 
pleasure in happily filling my solitude in the study of 
arithmetic, painting and other subjects which we now 
sometimes worked at together, so that I was very glad he 
should continue to visit me. And indeed I became as 
fond of him as I was of my own brothers although I was ^ 
not in the least thinking of marriage. On M. de Buhy's 
return he told M. du Plessis that he had settled with his 
mother and his wife to pass the rest of the bad times on 
an estate that he had in Bourbonnais, called Morverin. 
M. du Plessis preferred to stay on at Sedan so as to be 
near to the Prince of Conde" who had escaped into 
Germany whence a levy of mercenaries was expected. 
So the brothers separated, M. de Baunes, the youngest 
of them, choosing to stay with M. du Plessis. 

During the whole of this winter the late Duke of 
Bouillon languished, growing daily weaker. It was 
common knowledge that his recovery was hopeless and 
that he had been poisoned at the siege of Rochelle. 
Mme de Bouillon, his mother, came to see him. Many 
people were afraid that she would seize the castle on her 
son's death, and more especially many mistrusted M. des 
Avelles who was Governor of the castle. The (reformed) 
Church had grown finely owing to the number of the 
refugees, but M. du Plessis, in company with many 
other worthy folk, foresaw that it would be scattered if 
the Governor could once have things his own way. 
He tried several different ways to prevent this but at 
last decided to lay the matter before M. de Verdavagne, 
my host and the Duke's doctor, who was a deeply religious 
and zealous man. They agreed that M. de Verdavagne 
should tell Mme de Bouillon, the Duke's wife, who was 
abed with child, the gravity of her husband's illness and 
what a danger there was, should it please God to call him, 


that the Duchess, her mother-in-law, who hated the 
Religion, should seize the town and hold it for the King 
of France's pleasure by means of M. des Avelles. Having 
heard all that they had to say, deeply afflicted though 
she was, she decided to write to the Duke who was 
lying ill in another room. After having read her letter 
he desired to see her to discuss its contents with her. 
So she had herself carried into his room and after coming 
to a conclusion together she was carried back to bed. 
On the morrow the late M. de Bouillon sent for his 
most confidential friends, particularly desiring that M. du 
Plessis should be among them, and discussed with them 
the best means to carry out his wishes. Next he sum- 
moned his council and the chief officers of his household 
and told them that for certain reasons M. des Avelles 
was not to remain governor, and, at the same time, 
having taken the keys from him he put them into the 
charge of Messrs du Plessis, de la Laube, D'Espan, 
d' Arson and de la Marcilliere, which last was a Councillor 
of the Great Council. He bade them summon the 
officers and guards of the castle and inform them of their 
lord the Duke of Bouillon's intention of delivering the 
keys into the keeping of M. de la Laube, lieutenant of 
his company. And thus was the city secured. M. des 
Avelles left within the next four-and-twenty hours. 
Two days later the Duke died, making a very Christian 
end and placing in God's hands his wife, his children and 
his dukedom ; and in spite of his death we went on living 
in Sedan as peacefully as before. 

Shortly after the death of the Duke his wife had 
occasion to send to various places to arrange several 
matters arising out of her husband's death. Among 
others was a mission to the Duke of Cleves, a relative 
bearing the same name as the late M. de Bouillon, who, 
conjointly with the late Prince Frederic, Elector Palatine, 
had been left executor of the Duke's will. The Duchess 
begged M. du Plessis to undertake this journey and 
putting the will into his hands bade him take it to the 


Duke of Cleves and pray him to accept the guardianship 
of her children as well as the executorship of the aforesaid 
will. There was reason to fear lest the widowed Duchess 
should make the King of France jealous by thus approach- 
ing a foreigner ; moreover the difficulties of the negotia- 
tion were enhanced by the illness of the Duke of Cleves 
which had robbed him of speech, and to some extent of 
his wits. His council also were much divided in policy, 
some favouring Spain and some other princes. Matters 
were, however, settled to the satisfaction of the Duchess 
and the young lords, her children, and in three weeks he 
was back in Sedan. Soon after his return the Duke of 
Cleves' ambassadors arrived with the promised reply, 
and with a further charge to go on to the King of France 
to beg his good graces for the widow and the Duke's 
wards. In the Court of Cleves his best friends were 
M. de Wacktendoutz, Marshal of Cleves, M. Jettell and 
M. Pallant de Bredebent, all gentlemen of noble birth 
and important officials both in the State as well as in the 
household of the Duke, and all professing the reformed 
religion. Since their first meeting M. du Plessis has 
kept up a correspondence with M. de Pallant de 
Bredebent, whose house is not far from either Hambach 
or Juliers. It was there that he received M. du Plessis 
on his mission to the Duke. 

On his return M. du Plessis resumed his visits to me 
and for eight months hardly a day passed that we did 
not spend two or three hours together. Even during 
his journey to Cleves he wrote to me. I was planning 
to go into France on business of my own and I was 
inclined to hurry my departure so as to break this habit 
of familiarity, for I was afraid lest there might be some 
who might speak evil of it. Just as I was turning this 
possibility over in my mind he told me how greatly he 
wanted to marry me, which I felt did me honour. At 
the same time I told him plainly that I could not tell 
him my wishes until I had learnt what were the wishes 
of Mile de Buhy, his mother, and M. de Buhy, his brother, 


through their letters, so that I might know whether our 
marriage would be agreeable to them. Mile de Buhy 
was in Bourbonnais and M. de Buhy, who had taken up 
arms again since the troubles in France still went on, 
was Governor of St Lienart in Limousin. M. du Plessis 
sent an express messenger who brought back answers 
from his mother and his brother such as he desired ; 
there were also letters for me assuring me that if God 
made this marriage it would be pleasing to them and 
that they hoped it would take place. They also wrote 
to M. de Lizi, a nobleman of good family and formerly 
a favourite of King Henri II, and near kinsman and very 
good friend, begging him in their absence to play the 
part of a father to M. du Plessis. M. de Lizi sent me 
their letters, speaking very affectionately of M. du 
Plessis, saying that he had but one son but that he would 
have given the better part of all that he possessed to 
have him such a one as M. du Plessis. After telling him 
that I should count myself happy if God willed that the 
matter might prove pleasing to those on whom I depended, 
I asked for time, before finally declaring myself, to write 
to Mile de la Borde, my mother and my other relations 
to know what their will was. I wrote to all of them as 
of a thing I had at heart but at the same time I would 
go no further in the matter without their permission. 
I also asked advice of the relations of my late husband, 
M. de Feuqueres, and other of my friends. All this took 
a long time so that it was June 1575 before we had answers 
from everybody. 

God showed how He had ordained my marriage for 
my welfare by the general consent of all those whom we 
had consulted. Those who knew M. du Plessis thought 
me very lucky and advised me to carry through the affair 
quickly, and those who did not know him left the matter 
entirely to me. Thus having the consent of all our 
respective relatives to our marriage we drew up a settle- 
ment together, which we laid before M. de Lizi. He 
approved of it, so that we had no need of a lawyer and 


nothing in it was changed. This settlement was then 
sent to Mile de Buhy for her approval and ratification. 
She sent it to M. de Lizi confirming it word by word, 
and thereupon our contract of marriage was drawn up 
and passed by the notaries of Donchery, which is a French 
town situated on the Meuse and a league from Sedan. 
Now during all these comings and goings the time slipped 
by, and several of those who were living in Sedan observ- 
ing how often M. du Plessis went to call on me began to 
think that he must want to marry me. Some among 
them suggested other marriages to him with rich girls 
and heiresses, and did all they could to set him against 
me in favour of others, saying that with the gifts he had 
received from God added to those with which he was 
born he ought to look higher for a wife. But since the 
day when he had spoken to me he would never listen to 
any other proposals. They even offered to tell him, in 
case he was really thinking of marrying me, the whole 
truth about my fortune, both from my marriage settle- 
ments and my inheritance from my father. But he 
replied that when he wanted information on the subject 
he would ask me myself, and that a fortune was the last 
thing one should think about in marriage. The main y 
things were the manners and habits of those who intended 
to pass their lives together, and above all the fear of God 
and an unsullied reputation. 

During this year of 1575 M. du Plessis, at my request, 
wrote a discourse on Life and Death, together with a 
translation of some of Seneca's letters. It has since been 
printed, first in Geneva, then in Paris and in various 
other places, translated into almost every language and 
very well received by those of both religions. 


Civil War: 1575— 1577 

At the end of August trustworthy news reached Sedan 
that a levy of mercenaries had been raised by M. de 
Thore - for the purpose of rescuing the Duke of Alencon. 
M. du Plessis, who had waited on at Sedan with the express 
purpose of serving on the very first occasion, decided to 
join them. Before his departure we were betrothed in 
the presence of M. de Lizi, M. d'Heudreville, and Messrs 
de Luynes, conseiller de Parlement, and du Pin, since 
Secretary of State for Navarre, and nowadays Intendant 
des Finances of France, and we and they all signed the 

After which he left Sedan and he and those he accom- 
panied made their first halt at Buzancy where their 
troops forgathered. Throughout the whole of this 
journey he and the late M. de Mouy were always together 
and shared the same lodgings, for not only were they 
nearly related and great friends, but they had also carried 
through several enterprises at their own cost whilst living 
at Sedan with the object of furthering the march of these 
mercenaries ; and a great expense it had put them to. 
I have often heard him say that their efforts were brought 
to naught by certain people who wanted to gain reputa- 
tion without being willing to work for it. Their troops 
might number five hundred harquebusiers and fifty 
gentlemen, and, so as to preserve order, M. Espau was 
appointed their commander with M. du Plessis and M. 
de Mouy as his lieutenants. They marched by the Metz 
country and Lorraine, crossing several rivers on their way. 
M. de Guise and his troops marched in the same direction 

(From Visscher's Panorama of London. 1616) 

[/ace p 14b 

CIVIL WAR: 157 5-1 577 147 

and never more than three or four leagues from them ; 
this caused some of their men-at-arms to slip off and 
in consequence certain of their company advised that 
they should scatter and retreat. Notwithstanding this 
advice their project held and they reached the frontier 
of Germany without hurt though not without many 
alarms and fears. On their arrival at the place where 
they should have met M. de Thore* no news of him was 
to be had ; they therefore resolved to send to the Count 
of Nassau to ask permission to enter his territory, living 
at their own expense and those who had money paying 
for those who had none. M. du Plessis was chosen as 
their envoy to the aforesaid Count, but as he was starting 
some of M. de Clervant's troops appeared with whom he 
spoke and from whom he learnt that the army was close 
by. The following day they joined forces to their 
great joy. A story that I have often heard him tell 
should not be forgotten, that, on this very evening 
when news of the army's approach reached them, a great 
combat with lances of fire was seen in the sky which 
lasted over two hours and on which every eye was fixed. 
Many thought it an ill omen although M. du Plessis 
did what he could to explain it by some natural cause. 
Having joined M. de Triore - they entered France and 
crossing the Meuse marched direct to Attigny, a village 
situated on the Aisne. Here they tarried several days — 
long enough to allow M. de Guise to come up with them. 
M. de Thor£, finding himself importuned by the mercen- 
aries who demanded their pay before they would unfurl 
their colours, begged M. du Plessis to go to Sedan and try 
to collect as much money as he could as a voluntary con- 
tribution. M. du Plessis agreed although he told M. de 
Thore" that he had no hope of succeeding and that the 
refugees were the only people he could beg from and 
they had barely enough for their own needs. 

A few days earlier M. du Plessis, foreseeing trouble, 
had advised M. de Triore - to keep his troops better 
together, avoiding the richer towns and letting their 


citizens know from day to day that if they did not buy 
themselves off by a reasonable sum the mercenaries 
would be quartered on them and there is little doubt 
but that the towns would have paid up. The troopers 
too could have been well enough lodged outside the towns 
just for a mere halt on their march. And by this means 
M. de Thore could have raised enough to pay his mer- 
cenaries, without the least doubt, for there were only 
some fifteen hundred who refused to take their oaths of 
service before they had had their money. M. du Plessis 
finding, as he expected, that it was out of the question 
to raise money in Sedan left the day after he arrived. 
M. d'Heudreville accompanied him to the city boundary 
and on separating asked him what he thought of the army. 
" Pride goeth before a fall," M. du Plessis replied and 
added, for he spoke very confidentially to M. d'Heudre- 
ville, that within three days they would be defeated and 
all because of their chief's arrogance and the ill-manage- 
ment of everything. And thereupon he returned to 
Attigny where M. de Thore* was and where he found 
nothing to give him more hope than he had had when he 
left. He and M. de Mouy were lodged together in a 
small village near by. 

The army advanced on the Marne and after camping 
three times arrived within three leagues of it and halted 
in the outskirts of Fismes and Barochies between the 
Marne and river Aisne. They were followed by the 
King's army under M. de Guise with all possible haste. 
The same evening that they reached Fisnes M. de 
Fervaques, marechal de camp in the King's army, with 
fifty horse, came reconnoitring quite close to their camp, 
and having crossed the Aisne at Pontaver while following 
their opponents step by step, a little skirmish took place 
between Ronsy and Pontaver in a meadow, in which 
M. du Plessis and M. de la Mothe Juranville fought 
and took several prisoners. From them they learnt 
that M. de Guise was determined to contest the passage 
of the Marne. On the morrow they left at break of day 

CIVIL WAR: 1 575-1 577 149 

and pressed on, although harassed from time to time by 
the enemy who sent mounted harquebusiers against 
them both to right and to left in the forest, so as to retard 
their speed, or who attacked their rear with little skir- 
mishes so as to force them to face about to repulse them. 
M. du Plessis was mixed up in most of these skirmishes 
and he even had a shot from an arquebus in his cuirass 
but it did him no harm. M. de Thore was advised to 
make up his mind once for all either to fight or to retreat 
and on the whole he inclined to retreat without fighting. 
This he could have done, according to what was generally 
said, by reinforcing the rearguard of the retreat suffi- 
ciently to withstand the attacks of the enemy so that the 
main army could have continued its march across the 
river, baggage first, then infantry, then the mercenaries 
and finally all who were left behind. The locality was 
suitable for this because the troops which would cross 
last commanded the top of a hill, which the enemy 
could not attack except by very difficult approaches and 
then only one horseman at a time, so that the enemy 
could see nothing ahead nor perceive what was taking 
place behind the hill. This advice was thought good 
and the army was ready to follow it but M. de Thore - was 
incapable of making up his mind one way or the other. 
At one moment he gave directions in accordance with a 
resolution to fight and the next those proper to a retreat, 
and in the end as he determined neither to fight nor to 
retreat in disorder the enemy took advantage of his waver- 
ing and, pursuing their plan, forced a battle half a league 
from the river Marne. 1 They attacked in four companies 
of men-at-arms in front flanked by mounted harque- 
busiers who rode out of the forest on their right hand 
and thus obliged M. de Thor£, however much at dis- 
advantage he might be, to fight. He therefore ordered 
his ensign, M. de Pontillant, to charge. M. de Mouy 
and M. du Plessis were both included in the troop, no 
more than eighteen in all, and scarcely had they charged 

1 The battle of Dormans, 10th Oct. 1575. 


before they were all killed, wounded or prisoners. M. de 
Clervant also charged but few of his mercenaries followed 
him and he himself was taken prisoner. M. de Thore 
retreated without fighting and so did all the rest of his 
army as well as the mercenaries, who fled as far as Marigny 
sur Orbaiz. That evening they sent an envoy to the 
enemy with a surrender. M. de Guise was wounded 
while pursuing his victory which is matter for history. 
I return to M. du Plessis without stopping to mention 
others. He was made prisoner by the company under 
the Viscount Jean de Tavannes 1 reinforced by that of 
M. Guillaume de Tavannes • his elder brother, but he 
actually surrendered to a Burgundian gentleman, named 
la Borde, who belonged to the elder M. de Tavannes. 
M. du Plessis took part in the charge mounted on a tired 
horse and had taken off his head-piece, his brassards and 
his " cassettes." God watched over him and he got 
nothing worse than a blow from a lance which was 
nothing because the enemy rode at no more than a trot. 
As soon as he was seized one of the company wanted to 
kill him but the aforesaid de la Borde prevented it. He 
demanded his purse which M. du Plessis gave up. It 
held some thirty double ducats and two letters from me, 
one of which was addressed to M. du Plessis and the other 
to M. de Boinville, which was the name of an estate in 
Beausse. He begged M. de la Borde take care of them 
as they were letters from his mistress. They mounted 
him on an unshod horse and marched him with the rest 
in battle array, but anyone could see he was a prisoner 
because he was disarmed. M. de Guise's wound made 
many people very bitter and M. du Plessis was in danger 
of his life on several occasions. 

After crossing the river they halted on a hill near 
to Marigny sur Orbaiz. From thence they saw the 
German mercenaries leaving the village and it looked as 

1 Guillaume de Saulx, Comte de Tavannes, 1553-1633, Jean de Saulx, 
Vicomte de Tavannes, 1555- 1629, sons of Gaspard de Saulx-Tavannes, 
Marshal of France. 

CIVIL WAR: 1 575-1 577 151 

if they were returning to charge, whereas they only 
wanted to surrender. Had they charged it might have 
altered the whole result of the battle because the main 
army of M. de Guise followed the victorious troops at 
too great a distance. During this halt on the hill M. du 
Plessis was asked why he had taken up arms ? Answer : 
for religion's sake. Whether he would not change his 
religion ? Answer : he would die sooner. Whether he 
were not one of the Politiques ? Answer : it was plain 
that at his age one did not meddle with such matters. 
Whether he were not one of the " malcontents." l 
Seeing himself pressed he very truthfully replied that he 
was very ill-contented that every man did not get his 
due, including the mercenaries, and in his place they 
would have been as ill-contented as he was because the 
mercenaries had been admitted to composition instead of 
being sent off with a sound beating with peeled rods as 
they ought. He spoke so courteously that some of them 
seemed pleased with what they heard. Most of the 
questions were put to him by the two marshals de Biron * 
and de Retz, neither of whom knew him, as was in fact 
the case with all those present. 

Whilst the surrender of the mercenaries was taking 
place there chanced to pass by the son of that M. des 
Avelles, who had been governor of the castle of Sedan and 
who had lost his post as mentioned before, and whose son 
had taken service under M. de Guise. He knew M. du 
Plessis as he had often met him at Sedan and would 
willingly have done him an ill-turn, but happily he did 
not notice him. There also passed by a spy, named 
Baron, who had breakfasted with him the day before, and 
who had come to give information to M. de Guise but 
he also never saw him. Whence M. du Plessis felt 
assured that God would help him. 

The quarters of those who took him prisoner were at 
Damery on the Marne. M. du Plessis was most anxious 

1 The Due d'Alencon's party. 

• Armand de Gontaut Biron, 1524-1592, Marshal of France. 


to get rid of various compromising papers which he had 
on him as well as letters from divers Princes and countries 
but this he found it impossible to do, so closely was he 
watched. But on their reaching Damery he hastened to 
stable his horse and hastily pulling out his papers he 
stuffed them between the thatch of a low bit of roofing. 
This was on the loth Oct. 1575. At supper he became 
quite friendly with his captors but on the following 
morning, the nth Oct., Marshal de Retz ordered M. de 
la Borde to search his prisoner for papers, because several 
of the other prisoners were found to carry them. M. de 
la Borde came to M. du Plessis with many excuses and 
expressing his great regret at having to carry out orders, 
but as they were extremely explicit he dared not disobey. 
M. du Plessis had no doubt that he was ordered to kill 
him and made answer that he was entirely in his hands. 
At length M. de la Borde spoke out plainly and asked M. 
du Plessis to empty his pockets and let him see their 
contents. M. du Plessis thereupon begged him to search 
them for himself for his greater assurance, and glad 
enough he was that he had got rid of his papers overnight. 
On the 1 2th Oct. they reached Ventueil. The lady of 
that district was a protestant and a friend of M. du 
Plessis'. She entertained M. de Tavannes to whom 
M. du Plessis had been presented the day before. M. de 
Tavannes was charmed with him and his conversation 
and wanted to take him to the banquet which the lady 
had prepared. M. du Plessis excused himself saying that 
he felt ill and that his shoulder had been bruised by a 
blow from a lance in the charge ; on the morrow he made 
the same excuse and finally he besought M. de Tavannes 
not to drag him in triumph before the eyes of the ladies. 
This of course was all done to avoid being recognized by 
his friend who would have greeted him by name, thinking 
no harm, whereas he did not desire this because he was 
well known to have been employed on various missions. 
From this place they went to a village called Champagne 
not far from Chateau Thierry, where he was introduced 

CIVIL WAR: 1575-1577 153 

to the elder M. de Tavannes. Here he was confronted 
with the rest of the prisoners in the hope that some 
would recognize him, but once more God watched over 
him for M. de Mouy, badly wounded, was taken to his 
cousin's, M. de Liancourt's house ; M. de Pontillant was 
killed ; M. de Longjumeau escaped and thus his com- 
panions were all scattered some here, some there. 

Thus, when questioned as to who he was and whence 
he came, he answered that his name was Boinville, a poor 
cadet of Beausse, and that he possessed an income of no 
more than 300 livres, and so on. M. de Beauvoisin, 
M. de Tavannes' lieutenant, was told to make inquiries 
of two gentlemen of Beausse, M. de Orgenis and M. 
Jaudray at that time attached to M. d'Aumale. 1 These 
gentlemen confirmed M. de Plessis' statements under the 
impression that he was really the Boinville whom they 
knew, and who they said possessed no more than he 
stated, if as much, and who was a protestant and a cadet 
of his house. M. de Beauvoisin thereupon conceived a 
high opinion of M. du Plessis' integrity and praised him 
for it to M. de Tavannes and all the others. His ransom 
was fixed at one hundred crowns. 

From this day forth M. de Tavannes showed the 
greatest pleasure in conversing with him and usually made 
him dine in his company. M. du Plessis spoke very 
freely above all on the religious differences between them. 
M. de Tavannes liked him so well that he proposed 
that he should go on living with him free in conscience 
and religion and, even during the troubles, that he 
should live in his household though without bearing 
arms. M. du Plessis thanked him but excused himself. 
His captors also liked him, trusted him entirely and 
allowed him to walk about alone. Truth is that at first 
a watch was kept on him, but he told them plainly he 
must know how he stood with them. If he were on 
parole he would die sooner than break it, but if he were 

1 Charles de Lorraine, Due d'Aumale, 1554-1631, grandson of Claude, 
1 st Due de Guise. 


guarded then he should consider himself free from his 
parole. After that they let him go where he would all 
day. He came back each night to their lodging but he 
was very glad to be allowed to keep himself all day out of 
the way of any chance person who might recognize him. 
Also he wearied with the blasphemies and licentiousness 
of some among them which he never failed to reprove 
and remonstrate against very freely, although in such a 
way that no one took offence. Two worrying occurrences 
troubled him during his imprisonment. The first was a 
command from the king that all prisoners should be sent 
to him which chilled M. de Tavanne's friendly intention 
to let him go on parole, and made M. du Plessis implore 
him to kill him rather than to send him to consume all 
his small patrimony in a prison. M. de Tavannes 
promised not to let him out of his hands until he was 
forced. The second trouble was that whilst marching 
towards la Brye by the side of M. de Tavannes, so that 
he could listen to him talk, a lacquey belonging to M. 
d'Espau recognized him, spoke to him by name and then 
went off to tell the news to all his company. This 
lacquey had left his master and had seen M. du Plessis 
at Sedan a long time before. He kept nothing back of 
all he knew so that M. du Plessis was threatened by his 
captors with having to pay a ransom of 2000 crowns. 
He put a good face on it, however, scoffing at the word of 
a lacquey, and the aforementioned M. de Beauvoisin 
went surety for the truth of what he maintained, and 
assured the gentleman that their prisoner's name was de 
Boinville and not du Plessis. This mistake arose from 
having read the direction on M. du Plessis' letters and 
not what was in them. Amidst all these alarms M. de 
Vidart, a Basque, and M. de Cormon, his uncle, a Bur- 
gundian, each privately showed him a way of escaping 
and begged him to avail himself of it in consideration of 
the sort of people he had to do with. However, he refused 
saying that he had given his word and that they had kept 
faith with him since. At last he was allowed to send for 

CIVIL WAR: 1 575-1 577 155 

his ransom although he dared not send home for fear of 
disclosing his family name. So instead he sent to S edan 
with a letter for M. d'Heudreville, who so managed that 
the messenger could tell no tales. I sent the mon v by 
one of my own men, called Daleu, together with a small 
horse and a shabby cloak. The man arrived just at the 
moment when a fresh order came to deliver M. du 
Plessis up to M. du Mayenne l at Montmirail. La Borde 
was for keeping him but M. de Vidart was determined 
to let him go since he had kept faith with them. M. de 
Vidart accompanied him some thousand paces though 
against the goodwill of the aforesaid la Borde. When 
they parted M. du Plessis thanked M. de Vidart for the 
kindness he had shown him and told him, in strict con- 
fidence between them, who he really was since he had 
shown himself so friendly. M. de Vidart urged him to 
go as quickly as possible lest evil befell him if his name 
became known. It was on the 20th of October 1575 
that his captivity came to an end. 

He took his way towards Sedan attended by the man 
I had sent, and entered the town secretly, for the Duchess 
had no mind to offend the King by openly receiving those 
who had borne arms against him. He lodged with my 
host, M. de Verdavayne, in a building at the back, which 
was the only place from which he could visit me undis- 
covered. Mme de Bouillon knew he was there but she 
was much pleased with his discreet conduct, which was 
a good example to others and could not offend the King. 
He was some time there before his followers, who had 
been all scattered at the defeat, found him out, but one 
by one they joined him. He renewed his equipment, 
which had all been lost, and only waited an opportunity 
either to join the army of mercenaries under the Prince 
of Conde or to go in search of the Duke of Alencon who 
was somewhere between Berry and Auvergne. Things 
being so I had not thought of our wedding taking place 

1 Charles de Lorraine, Due de Mayenne, 1554-1611, 2nd son of Francois, 
2nd Due de Guise. 


before the troubles were over. But as this time seemed 
slow in coming M. du Plessis, M. de Lizi and others of 
our friends thought it was wiser to get the wedding over. 
Our contract was therefore drawn up by the notaries of 
Donchery, our banns were published and we were married 
on the 3rd of January 1576. But just as we had fixed 
the wedding-day news came that the mercenaries raised 
by the Duke were marching through Lorraine on their 
way to France, so that the very same week that we were 
married M. du Plessis set out one morning before day- 
break, accompanied by M. de Lizi who had collected 
every one in Sedan and the neighbourhood who was 
willing to march with them. They numbered some 80 
horse and a few foot-soldiers and took their way towards 
Jametz ; thence to the Bishopric of Verdun and so on 
to the Vosges. But just as they expected to join the 
army on the appointed day, near Chaumont in Bassigny, 
news reached them that it had not stopped there but 
had gone further on ; which was thought to be on account 
of the unwillingness of those about the Prince to allow 
better people than themselves to approach him. Thus 
they were obliged to retire. But before they got this 
news they had heard that two cornets of horse soldiers 
were camped on the road and they resolved to defeat 
them as they went by, attacking them in broad daylight 
in their village. They and their foot-soldiers advanced 
very resolutely after offering up prayer. But the diffi- 
culty of returning, after learning that the Prince was not 
in the neighbourhood, made the older men among them 
abandon this plan and their advice was taken. They 
therefore broke up their company at Louppy and each 
led a small party back to the Duchess of Bouillon's 
territory. M. de Lizi and most of those who had come 
from Sedan went to Francheval. The same day I was 
informed of this by a note from M. du Plessis and I went 
to meet him there. The following day M. de Lizi and 
the rest were of opinion that they should enter Sedan 
quite openly but M. du Plessis did not agree. He was 

CIVIL WAR: 1 575-1 577 157 

afraid of offending the Duchess and so he decided to 
retire to Bazeilles for a few days which pleased her, but 
all the same she sent word that he could come to Sedan 
provided that he did it secretly. 

So back he went to Sedan and stayed there till the 
20th March. We then decided to return to France and 
set out with the intention that M. du Plessis should join 
the late Duke of Alencon's army. To make the journey 
easier for him I rode ahorseback with one of my women, 
leaving the others at Sedan, whence later on they followed 
me. Our first stopping-place was at Chesne le Pouilleux, 
near to the place where the King's mercenaries were 
camped. However, we crossed the whole of Champagne 
without misadventure, or any unlucky encounter and 
got to la Borde au Viconte, near Melun, to my eldest 
brother's house. On the next day I set out for Paris to 
see if I could get some sort of passport for M. du Plessis 
under a feigned name, so that he might cross the Seine 
at Paris and continue his journey towards Moulins in the 
Bourbonnais, where the Duke was said to be. Once in 
Paris I got the passport by the help of my friends. I also 
saw Monseigneur Dareines, one of the presidents in the 
Parlement de Paris and at that time deputy, along with 
M. de Beauvais la Node, for the protestant churches 
in the negotiations for peace. I gave him a remonstrance 
written by M. du Plessis pointing out that the safety of 
the protestants was not secure unless guarantee towns, 
and other places where preachings were allowed, outside 
of the Duke of Alencon's apanage, were assigned to them, 
for if the Duke abandoned our party, as might very well 
happen, we should lose all the security which his apanage 
gave us. However, Messrs de Beauvais and d'Arcines, as 
well as many others, would not believe that the Duke 
could abandon us, in which belief they very soon found 
themselves mistaken. I can testify that M. du Plessis 
never for a moment expected anything else. 

Having got my passport I went back to M. du Plessis 
whom I had left in my brother's house. We started at 


once for Paris, whose gates we found reinforced with 
guards since I had come through. All the same, after 
showing our passport, we were let into the city and 
stayed there two days. Thence we went on to Plessis 
and from there to Levainville, to my sister's house, Mile 
de Vaucelas. Three days later M. du Plessis set out for 
his journey's end, leaving me with my sister at Levain- 
ville. After leaving me M. du Plessis slept at la Briche, 
at M. de Cherville's house ; from thence his way lay 
through the Gastinois by Montargis and so to St Fargeau 
near where he found the Duke. It may be mentioned 
that when passing through a town he pretended to be 
sent by the King to negotiate the peace, so he always got 
in and was everywhere well received. He never failed to 
beg the town authorities to come to a composition with 
the mercenary troops rather than let them proceed to 
extremities and said that the King himself would prefer 
to have it so, seeing that he had at present no army to 
protect them, and so forth. In this way he induced 
several towns to send to meet the Duke's army as it 
approached with offers of money and victuals in good 
quantities, which might have been husbanded better 
than they were. As he passed by Belesbat not far from 
Estampes he learnt that the King was not a quarter of a 
league off, looking at some houses which he wanted to 
buy, almost alone and quite open to an attack. A little 
further on he met a gentleman who has since told him 
more than once, that if he had only known, he could have 
seized the principal courtiers without the smallest danger, 
so little were they suspecting any themselves. 

When he reached the Duke he proposed to him a plan 
by which, if he would consent to it, Verdun might fall 
into his hands and the Duke listened very readily. But 
afterwards he told him not to speak about it to anybody, 
and above all not to Duke Casimir, because by the terms 
of the capitulation they had promised him Metz, Toul and 
Verdun as hostage towns, and it was hoped by the Articles 
of Peace to content him with less ; M. du Plessis there- 

CIVIL WAR: 1 575-1 577 159 

fore said no more. At this same time a quarrel in the 
army arose between M. de Turenne and M. de Bussy 1 
and their adherents, which, because of the high quality 
of the chief opponents, caused a great division. M. de 
Bussy, as Colonel-General of the Duke's troops, had the 
privilege of bearing the white Ensign. M. de Turenne 
on the other hand had brought some fine companies of 
foot-soldiers from Guienne which the churches there 
had entrusted to him together with a white flag. It was 
M. de Bussy's contention that nobody but himself was 
permitted to use a white flag. M. de Turenne main- 
tained that the flag given to him was sacred like all flags, 
and he was bound to return it just as he had received it. 
The Duke was inclined to favour M. de Bussy. M. du 
Plessis was asked to settle the quarrel and proposed as a 
way out of the difficulty that, as all flags of one colour 
were proper to colonels only, M. de Turenne should have 
a blue or violet one, leaving the white for M. de Bussy, 
which was the way it was arranged between the colonel 
of the French infantry and the Piedmontese colonel. 
However, peace soon after being made M. de Turenne's 
troops withdrew highly dissatisfied. 

Peace was at last made at Chastenoy in Gastinois on 
the 7th May 1576, M. du Plessis taking a share in most of 
the discussions. This matter settled he obtained leave 
of absence from the Duke so that he could attend to his 
own private affairs. He could easily see by the temper of 
many that this peace would not last long. As he was at 
supper with M. de Laval,' to whom he had gone to bid 
farewell expecting to start the following morning, the 
Duke sent for him and offered him the choice of going 
either to England or to Germany with news of the peace, 
and also to explain to the foreign Princes his reasons for 
making peace in the same way as he had previously 
explained his reasons for going to war. M. du Plessis 

1 Louis de Clermont de Bussy d'Amboise, assassinated 1579. 
* Paul de Coligny, Comte de Laval, d. 1585, son of Francois de Coligny, 
seigneur d'Andelot. 


preferred going to England as the journey was shorter. 
Dispatches for England were therefore given him and he 
went to Sens to meet the Queen Mother. She received 
him well enough but let him know plainly that she was 
quite aware that he had been mixed up with the affair of 
St Germain and Mantes. From Sens he went to Paris 
to see the King and I travelled to meet him there. We 
stayed in Paris for two months because the Duke's treasurer 
would give him no money for his journey, nor anything 
for suitable presents for some of the English lords. The 
reason for this was that the Queen Mother had succeeded 
in turning the Duke against the project for she was 
afraid the mission would serve to unite the Duke and the 
Queen of England more closely, so that the Duke's 
treasurer, who was a son of Marcel, was given a counter 
order not to pay M. du Plessis. All the same when M. 
du Plessis complained of him to the Duke he was always 
told to go back and press for payment. At last after a 
long stay in Paris the journey was given up and we went 
off to Buhy. M. du Plessis' brother, M. de Buhy, had 
been promised the governorship of Loches in the Duke's 
apanage but he had never been able to obtain it for the 
same reason ; which was the Queen Mother's ill will on 
account of the affair of St Germain and Mantes. From 
the fact that M. du Plessis' journey into England was 
given up many people foretold trouble and all the more 
because M. de la Vergne, who was a catholic, really was 
sent to Germany. 

It was just at this time that the League, which called 
itself ' holy ', was founded in Picardy. M. du Plessis 
sent out warnings from the moment of its birth to the 
Duke, to the King of Navarre and more especially to 
M. de la Noue. The first aim of the League was to 
turn the Estates General, which had been promised by 
the Edict, into an instrument for the condemnation of 
all professing the reformed religion. To achieve this 
they aimed at controlling the towns, the clergy and the 
nobles in the provincial Estates, so that these Estates 

CIVIL WAR: 157 5-1 577 161 

should all be of one religion and all give identical instruc- 
tions to the deputies sent to represent them at the 
Estates General, and thus secure that similar resolutions 
should be passed by that body. M. du Plessis set himself 
to combat this in several ways. First, he used persuasion 
to retard the meeting of the Estates General on the 
grounds that the public was not yet ready so soon after 
the civil war, arguing that a medicine of this sort ought 
to be preceded by various other medicinal concoctions, 
that one ought to wait till people were on better terms 
with each other and so forth. On these points he held 
many discussions, even with M. de la Noue himself. 
Secondly, he opposed the League's resolutions in the 
Provincial Estates by various papers written privily and 
sent to them, more particularly to the Baillage of Senlis 
to which he belonged. In this baillage he secured a 
resolution for the maintenance of the Edict, and he was 
moreover elected by one and all, even the clergy, to 
represent them at the Estates General. From this he 
excused himself on the grounds that the Duke was 
employing him on affairs of importance. Thirdly, by 
exposing the worthlessness of all Estates whether pro- 
vincial or general. Fourthly, by writing a remonstrance 
addressed to the Estates, which was printed and for the 
most part very well received, in which he pointed out 
that the best ordinances which could be made by the 
Estates were useless without peace, that peace depended 
on the maintenance of the Edict, and so on. This 
remonstrance was printed with the consent of the late 
chancellor de Birague, 1 who was asleep when the first 
page, which was quite unimportant, was read aloud to 
him. Several maitres des requites read the whole of it 
and were glad it was printed because they really wanted 
to have peace. However, it nearly cost him his life 
between Blois and Chasteaudun through falling in with 
some of his neighbours who belonged to the League. 

1 Rene de Birague or Birago. b. at Milan 1509, chancellor 1573, cardinal 
1578, d. 1583. 



They were very close on his heels but he turned aside 
towards Ougues, a village and a house belonging to a 
protestant gentleman who was away at Blois. 

Whilst he was thus travelling to and fro M. du Plessis 
was urgently summoned by the Duke, who was then at 
Tours. The Duke wanted to send him to England and 
this time he was in earnest. It was plain, however, that 
the Duke meant to desert his party and return to Court 
so M. du Plessis refused this mission and took his leave, 
saying at the end quite plainly that he saw that the Duke 
was about to pursue a course where he could be of no 
service to him in conscience or in honour. From this 
moment he made up his mind to join the King of Navarre, 
who had already written to him an invitation on the 
very special recommendation of M. de Foix and M. de la 
Noue with others of the Religion ; and in truth it was 
such a recommendation that the King of Navarre stared 
with surprise. M. de Foix told the King, laughingly, 
that he had better find out such an obvious truth for 
himself. So M. du Plessis went off to Agen where the 
King of Navarre was and stayed there several days. 
The King of Navarre took him into his service and from 
that day forth used him in his council and in all his affairs. 
It was decided to oppose by a resort to arms the delibera- 
tions of the Estates General at Blois, which, as the King 
sent word to the King of Navarre, were resolved that 
only one religion should be allowed in France. The 
King of Navarre sent M. du Plessis to treat with M. de 
Montmorenci, 1 to induce him to take arms for his party, 
which he was very willing to do and indeed was on the 
very point of declaring himself when he excused himself. 
His reason of so doing was the King's assumption of the 
leadership of the League, and also his indisposition for 
the fatigue of war. He held a secret conversation with 
M. du Plessis at Chantilly where the chiefs of the league 
in Picardy and Isle de France were staying. 

On his return from Gascony he found me brought to 

1 Francois de Montmorenci, 2nd Duke, 1530-1579. 

CIVIL WAR: 1 575-1 577 163 

bed with our eldest daughter, who was named Marthe, and 
who was baptized at Plessis where I had gone for my 
confinement. Her godfather was M. de Sauseuse, a man 
of the highest distinction for piety and doctrine. It 
should be noted that the same day that I was seized with 
the pains of childbirth, and whilst M. du Plessis was on 
his way to me, he knew in his heart that I was in labour. 
He wrote down in his diary what he had felt on the very 
same day, namely the 17th of December 1576, so that on 
his arrival, before a word was said by anyone, he told us 
the day of my confinement and found that he was right. 
The times waxing more troubled he resolved to join 
the King of Navarre, crossing France and the zone of war. 
On his way he passed by Chastelier in Touraine and 
stopped at M. de la Noue's house, but found him already 
gone. However, Mme de la Noue was there and he also 
met M. de Chassincourt who afterwards acted as agent for 
the churches to the King. While at Chastelier he wrote 
a letter to the Duke, who was at Blois with the King, 
pointing out the wrong he had done himself in rejecting 
the almost certain hope he had of a great position in 
England, in the Low Countries and in Germany. This 
letter was shown to the Queen Mother who was greatly 
annoyed with it. The effect of the Duke's conduct 
was clearly manifest afterwards by the difficulties he met 
with in his negotiations with foreign princes where 
previously everything had been quite easy. Mme de la 
Noue wanted to rejoin her husband and so she and M. du 
Plessis set out together. The first day's journey brought 
them to la Tricherie, in Chastellerault and Poitiers, 
which was besieged by the Viscount de la Guierches' 
company but hearing that it was Mme de la Noue they 
let her through their lines, because of the high respect 
in which her husband was held. But some of her com- 
pany, who were discovered from their talk to be from la 
Rochelle, were taken to Blois and had much ado to get 
free again. M. du Plessis was let go although one of 
his grooms, whom he had been teaching all the way to 


call him a different name to his own, did in his fright 
give him his correct name ; but the fact is there are 
several others bearing the same name and his calmness 
put them off their guard. To avoid further danger they 
wrote to M. Sainte Solene who was in Poitiers, and who 
was a friend of M. de la Noue's, to ask him to allow the 
aforesaid lady to stop at Jaulnay, a village between la 
Tricherie and Poitiers, and to bring with her some five- 
and-thirty horsemen. And thereupon they set out. At 
Jaulnay, M. de Sainte Solene's place, they found a com- 
pany of de Landreau's camped. This said de Landreau 
was the chief of the League in those parts who had seized 
Jaulnay while M. de la Sainte Solene was unable to leave 
Poitiers on account of a tumult which had broken out 
in that city. The travellers passed through and some 
few paces further on turned aside to Monstreuil le 
Bonin, a house owned by M. de la Noue. There they 
found M. de Landreau himself and the late M. de 
Tremouille with him and two hundred lancers as well. 
For several hours the danger of being recognized was 
very great but they were allowed to go on. They slept 
at Monstreuil. On the morrow, between Monstreuil 
and Loue whilst they were wasting time with looking at 
the ruins of Lusignan, 1 they were attacked by some of 
M. de Chemeraut's company who might number twenty 
cuirasses. They turned and confronted them with so 
much boldness, and held their own with so much firmness 
that they were allowed to go on their way. Thus they 
passed through three separate dangers in as many days 
and at a time when the disturbances caused by the leaguers 
were very troublesome, and when a very special hatred 
was felt for M. du Plessis by those among them who 
knew him for a man of high value and of great devotion 
to his religion. At length they reached St Jean d'Angely, 
whence he went on to meet the King of Navarre at Agen. 

1 Lusignan, a celebrated castle which Melnsine la F6e was supposed to 
have founded. Taken and lost twice by the huguenots the king ordered 
its demolition in 1575 ; M. de Chemeraut carried out the work of destruc- 

CIVIL WAR: 1 575-1 577 165 

He stayed with him during part of this war. He wrote 
the King of Navarre's declaration setting forth the just 
reasons which had moved him to take up arms ; he also 
took part in the siege of Marmande and had his share in 
negotiating a month's truce to raise the siege, between the 
Marshal de Biron and M. de Foix to whom were joined 
Messrs de Segur Pardaillan x and de Gratemx, chancellor 
of Navarre. 

Towards the end of this truce he was sent on a mission 
to the Queen of England with plenary power in all the 
King of Navarre's affairs in England, Scotland, the Low 
Countries, Germany, etc. He even had a number of 
commissions and blank forms with a seal to sign all dis- 
patches according as he thought fit, which is a power very 
rarely given to anyone. He had to pass through M. de 
Mayenne's army in Xaintonge. He was warned at the 
same time by M. de Foix that Admiral de Villars, 8 at 
that time lieutenant general in Guienne, had been very 
particularly commanded by the King to be on the watch 
for him and to seize him on his way, for his journey 
having been put off more than once had become known 
to the enemy. He got to Rochelle, however, though not 
without great danger. He was kept waiting several 
days at Rochelle because the Prince de Conde" was 
desirous for certain reasons of his own, namely, an appeal 
to the Queen of England on his behalf that his messenger, 
Captain Lisle, should reach her before M. du Plessis did. 
Through this delay he lost the advantage of a fleet 
sailing for England. He embarked in the Isle de Rhe" in 
the first ship he found which was one laden with salt, 
vexed to the heart that he had lost the escort of the fleet. 
Once out at sea, by an extraordinary intuition, he told 
M. du Ronday de Loudun, a notable person who accom- 
panied him, that within a short time they would fall 
into extreme danger but that God would bring them 

1 Segur de Pardaillan, a family of Perigord. 

1 Andre de Brancas, Sieur de Villars, important member of the League, 
killed 1595. 


safely through it. That very same evening, off the Isle 
Dieu, they were attacked by the King's ships and by 
some from the coast of Olonne, who captured them and 
almost succeeded in boarding them and putting them all 
to the sword out of hand. They did strip them, both 
M. du Plessis and all his men ; some they tied by their 
heels and plunged them into the water threatening to 
drown them or worse, to make them say who they were. 
By God's grace they all held firm remembering that he 
had bade them say that they were merchants. M. du 
Plessis had had just sufficient warning to hide all his 
commissions, instructions, letters and blank forms in 
the pump. M. du Ronday, who accompanied him, 
when very straitly pressed, did say : " I belong to this 
gentleman" meaning M. du Plessis, who marked his 
words and felt how dangerous they were. Another of 
his men although a dagger was at his throat would not 
give up a belt with eight hundred crowns in it. But 
M. du Plessis got him to yield at last for he was afraid 
they would murder him. There were several trunks 
full of silk clothes aboard which would have clearly 
shown that they were not simple merchants but it was 
God's will that their enemies should not notice them. 
To get him into their snare they took M. du Plessis apart 
in the lower part of the ship ; there they talked in his 
hearing of going to la Rochelle or to the Isle de Rhe and 
thereupon his men begged him to say who he was and to 
show his passport. But he considered that if they were 
enemies it would be his certain death, and that even if 
they were friends they might still kill him to conceal 
the blunder they had made. At last they left them 
carrying away everything with them, even the sails, the 
nautical instruments, the anchor, lead and all. It 
looked as if they had not really wished to return to shore 
to give an account of their doings to Sandreau, admiral of 
that coast, while M. du Plessis, on his part, pretended to 
be willing to be taken to him although he would have 
been in the greatest danger had they done so. For not 

CIVIL WAR: 1575-1577 167 

only had the King expressly commanded that he should 
be seized wherever he was found, but also the people 
along that coast were enraged at the rough way in which 
they had been treated by M. de Mouy when he took les 
Sables d'Olonne. M. de Mouy was a cousin of M. du 
Plessis and one of his best friends ; he was still at Olonne 
with the Poitou infantry whose colonel he was. His 
treatment of the town had been so severe that the in- 
habitants had flung themselves into the sea in despair. 
M. du Plessis returned to Rochelle in the salt ship. 
There an offer was made to make good his losses out of 
the fortune of his captor's father-in-law. But he was 
not willing that the innocent should suffer for the guilty. 
This happened in April 1577. 

It should be noted that six or seven months before this 
date M. du Plessis had told me that he was about to run 
into some extreme peril but that he had God's assurance 
that he should come safely through it. He had said the 
same thing to Mme de la Noue, who, recalling his words 
when they were stopped at la Tricherie after getting 
safely through all the other dangers on their road, asked 
him if he thought that this was the peril of which he had 
spoken to her. He said no, but that in a very short time 
he should fall into it but that he had full confidence that 
God would bring him safely through. Eight days later 
he got back to la Rochelle where he got his outfit together 
again and borrowed enough money for his journey 
from M. de Rohan, who lent it him very willingly. 
And so he passed over into England whence he sent for 
me to join him. 


Life in England and the Low Countries 

I went to join him in London where we stayed for 
eighteen months in great peace, although busy all the 
time with many matters. He was very well received 
from the first moment, and of the hundred thousand 
crowns which he begged of the Queen of England she 
agreed to give eighty thousand. But between the promise 
and the performance the whole negotiation was upset 
partly by the capture of la Charite' by the Duke of Anjou 
(formerly the Duke of Alencon) and partly by the change in 
the opinions of the Marshal de Montmorenci, the governor 
of Languedoc. 1 The effect of these two events was such 
that his friends advised him to leave without attempting 
to do anything more. He made answer that the incon- 
stancy of the sea could be turned to account by those 
who were wise, and that what one wave let sink in the 
trough another lifted up, and for his part he meant to 
try what patience would do. And in truth he brought 
the Queen back to her first goodwill to his business. 
A sum was actually sent to Hambourg, in Germany, to be 
employed in securing foreign aid. M. du Plessis' intimacy 
with the most important people about the Queen was a 
great help. So was the confidence of the English 
government in him, which went to such lengths that his 
advice was even asked on matters which only concerned 

During our stay in England the Low Countries, which 
had in no wise been settled by an Edict of Peace, now 

1 Henri de Montmorenci, Comte de Damville, Marshal of France and 
Governor of Languedoc. After 1579 Due de Montmorenci, Connetable, 1593. 


broke out into fresh troubles in consequence of the 
behaviour of Don John of Austria. This was of such a 
nature that even the catholic provinces called upon the 
Prince of Orange for help, and united their fortunes 
with Holland and Zealand. Furthermore, in order to 
resist the power of Spain they wanted to lean upon the 
friendship and help of the Queen of England. M. du 
Plessis, being on the spot, was asked to act for the Prince 
of Orange and the Estates. At the same time the Queen 
and her council also applied to him, for both sides knew 
that he put the welfare of the true religion before all 
other things. His chief friends in England were Sir 
Francis Walsingham, Secretary of State, and Sir Philip 
Sidney, son of the Viceroy of Ireland, nephew of the 
Earl of Leicester, and since son-in-law to the aforesaid 
Sir Francis Walsingham. Sir Philip was the most highly 
accomplished gentleman in England. Sometime after 
this date he did M. du Plessis the honour to translate 
into English his book on the " Truth of the Christian 
Religion." Paulet, 1 Killigrew, 2 Davidson, 3 Rogers and 
others employed in notable embassies were among his 
English friends. Among the French were the ministers 
of the French Church in England, Francois L'Oyseleur, 
generally called de Villiers, who has since had charge 
of the affairs of the late Prince of Orange, and Robert le 
Macon, called de la Fontaine, both very excellent pastors. 
At this date the many virtues of the King of Navarre 
were not known in foreign countries. By the artful 
tricks of certain evil speakers he was suspected by most 
people, as if he were not sincere in his championship of 
the protestant religion but had really maintained some 
sort of intelligence with its enemies. This did him a 
great deal of harm and all the more because these opinions 

1 Paulet, Amias, Sir. He was ambassador in Paris 1576-1579. Mile 
du Plessis' memory for dates is not always correct. 

! Sir Henry Killigrew, d. 1603, diplomatist in Scotland, the Low Countries 
and France. 

8 Wm. Davidson, d. 1608, Secretary of State, sent on mission to Low 
Countries 1577. 


were held by those who professed themselves protestants. 
M. du Plessis worked hard to root out these errors and 
succeeded in placing the King of Navarre's reputation 
on such a sure foundation that it was easy for those 
who followed to build on it. In September 1577 peace 
was made in France and this gave him less to do in 
England. However, he had no mind to cross over to 
France until the fires of civil war had somewhat cooled 
down. During this time of leisure he occupied himself 
with composing a treatise on the Church, for he could 
see that those who denied the truth or befouled it with 
lies stumbled oftenest on this point. Having written it 
he submitted it to Messrs de la Fontaine and de Saulsay, 
two very learned ministers, and after them to ten or 
twelve others, begging them to note carefully everything 
they objected to. This they did and meeting in confer- 
ence a month later a complete agreement was reached. 
This treatise was soon afterwards translated into every 
language and by God's grace bore fruit ; so far no reply 
to it has seen the light. A monk of Rouen, called 
Corneille, working to refute it by the request of the Baron 
de Meneville, a near relative of M. du Plessis and a very 
learned man, came to a knowledge of the truth by his 
own efforts to contradict it. He unfrocked himself and 
went to Geneva where he has since become a minister. 
Sometime after this the book was approved and printed 
in Geneva, it was received with high praise by the 
General Synod at Vitray in France, and in England was 
of great service in appeasing the distractions of the 
Church which had arisen on account of the ceremonial 
still retained in that country. 

In England in the year 1578 and on the first day of 
June our daughter Elizabeth was born. Her godfathers 
were Sir Philip Sidney and Mr Killigrew, and her god- 
mother was Lady Stafford, lady-in-waiting to the Queen 
of England. The chief reason why M. du Plessis left 
England in a hurry arose from the negotiation for the 
marriage of the Duke of Alencon (Anjou) with the Queen 


of England, which M. de Rames, of the family of 
Bagueville, had been sent over to arrange. M. du Plessis 
heartily disapproved of this marriage both on account of 
religion and no less for reasons of state, and this notwith- 
standing that the Queen did him the honour to discuss it 
with him confidentially. He decided that it would be 
wiser for him to leave the country and go to Flanders, 
where he would be able to do more for the service of his 
master. He took leave of the Queen in the town of 
Norwich under cover of various matters of business in 
the Low Countries relating to the King of Navarre. 
The Queen bade him farewell with fine gifts, and above 
all with the highest marks of confidence by giving him a 
cipher to use in secret communications to her. He left 
me and our children in London until he knew what 
degree of safety and comfort we should find in the places 
to which he was going. As on many other occasions God 
had him in His special care during this journey. For 
he had intended to cross in the ship, in which all his 
baggage was, from Gravesend to Flushing. It chanced 
that the wind was contrary and he therefore rode on to 
Dover, whence by tacking he got safely to Dunkirk. The 
master of the ship where his baggage was, on the other 
hand, just to get a little extra gain, took on board thirty 
soldiers who pretended they were bound for Flushing. 
Once out at sea these men pillaged the ship and changing 
its course they seized the passengers as well as the cargo. 
In this robbery M. du Plessis lost several works ; among 
others, I have often heard him regret the loss of a history 
of the troubles in France written in latin, as well as two 
petitions for peace. He tried all he could to get them 
back from Mr Wilson, 1 the English Secretary, for soon 
after these same robbers were captured and hanged and 
all the papers came into Mr Wilson's hands. But he 
protested that he had never had them. 

M. du Plessis arrived in Flanders in the year 1578 

1 Thoma8 Wilson, d. 1581 ; Secretary of State 1578 ; sent on missions 
to Low Countries 1574 and 1579. 


towards the end of July at the same time that the foreign 
armies were camped at Rimenem. The Duke Casimir 
left his army very shortly after, taking with him several 
cornets of horse. He was bound for Ghent to quell a 
disturber of the peace there, by name Imbize, 1 who 
was upsetting the whole country. This Imbize sought 
the advancement of the religion by the most violent 
means directed against the Pacification of Ghent, 2 to 
which all the Provinces had sworn, and indeed in the end 
he was the cause of the rupture between them. So 
both the Prince of Orange and the Estates begged M. du 
Plessis to travel throughout the Province of Flanders, 
from town to town, wherever he had made friends in 
his previous visit to the country. He did this in a quiet 
way, talking over things with all the most worthy people 
as well as all the most sensible, pointing out that the 
methods Imbize was employing were not for edification 
but very much the contrary. He even wrote a short 
paper, which can be read in his memoirs arguing that 
religion must be preached and not imposed by force ; 
idolatry overthrown by the word of God and not by the 
hammer-blows of men. The result of this journey was 
that Bruges, Ypres and le Franc dissociated themselves 
from Ghent and reunited themselves to the whole body 
of the Estates ; and, furthermore, Ghent itself appealed 
to the Prince of Orange a few days later, rejoined the 
Union more obedient than before, deprived Imbize of 
all authority and begged Duke Casimir to leave them 

By this time I was once more with M. du Plessis, 
having embarked in the Thames at London for Antwerp. 
In this voyage we experienced both the wrath and the 
mercy of God, for the plague broke out in our ship and 
some died of it, not our own people but some of those 
who ate and drank with us. The day after we reached 

1 Imbize, J. van. He conspired with another young noble of Ghent, 
Ryhove, to raise Ghent against the catholics. 

* Treaty between the calvinist and catholic provinces of the Low 
Countries, 1576. 










Antwerp the two children of the woman who was foster- / 
mother to our daughter Elizabeth, of whom one had ^ 
often been suckled with her, were seized with the illness 
and both were dead in less than twenty-four hours. 
M. Trescat, a learned man and a minister of God's word 
in the church of Brussels, who was husband to our nurse, 
came in great terror to warn us. After a great deal of 
worry God provided us with another nurse, and none of 
our family suffered from the risk of infection. It was at 
this time that the Duke of Guise began to turn France 
upside-down, though without clearly knowing at which 
end to begin. To the catholics he spoke of the State ; 
to attract the huguenots he promised full liberty, and 
even approached the leaders of the religion. The King 
of Navarre sent M. de Chassincourt to Flanders in haste 
to ask advice from M. de la Noue and M. du Plessis. 
Their reply may still be read. It was to the effect that 
however bad was the treatment with which they met yet 
a tolerable peace was better than a war however successful ; 
that M. de Guise could not possibly make any honest 
promises to protestants ; that if the Duke really had any 
proposals to make to the King of Navarre he ought to 
approach him directly and not through others whom he 
only approached in order to detach them. In point of 
fact these tricks came to an end for the Duke had no mind 
to negotiate with a chief who meant to be really the 
chief of the party. 

This all happened in the year 1579, in which year, 
in spite of all the various affairs in which he had been 
employed, M. du Plessis began his book on the " truths of 
the Christian Religion." He had been turning it over in 
his mind for a very long time and all his early studies had 
been only a preparation for writing it ; for everything 
had been directed to the end that he might glorify the 
name of Jesus Christ. He was interrupted, about the 
month of August, by a long and severe illness before 
he had reached his fifth chapter. Our eldest son Philip 
de Mornay was born at this time at Antwerp, on the 


20th July. We were living in the Camaerstrate, lodging 
with a certain M. Landmeter. His godfathers were 
M. Francois de la Noue and Artus de Vaudray 
Seigneur de Mouy, and his godmother was the Lady 
Mary of Nassau, eldest daughter of the Prince of 
Orange. Both M. de la Noue and Mile d'Orange 
wanted to call the baby after the Prince but I sent an 
earnest request to them to give him M. du Plessis' name. 
I was all the more set on this because some months 
before I was brought to bed I had a dream that I should 
give birth to a son, and that M. du Plessis and I should 
dedicate him to God and that his name must be either 
Philip or Samuel. M. de Mouy finding the other two 
godparents discussing the child's name, begged on my 
behalf that he should be called after his father. 

M. du Plessis' illness was a low fever accompanied 
with various dangerous symptoms, among others constant 
sleeplessness and other very strange troubles. These 
were attributed partly to overwork, particularly over his 
book which he worked at every evening after a day busy 
with all sorts of affairs, and partly to the dregs of a poison 
which had been given him by a Marseillais the year 
before. This man very impudently came to supper 
with him, insinuating himself in the company of the 
younger M. d'Avantigny in such a way that both gentle- 
men thought the other knew him. By evening M. du 
Plessis was dangerously ill with symptoms which seemed 
inexplicable, and he was ill for several days without any 
cause which the doctors could assign. Youth and good 
health and above all continual and violent sickness pulled 
him through. This Marseillais was seized at Antwerp 
some little time after, whither he had come with the 
intention of poisoning the Prince of Orange, induced 
thereto by the bribes of the Abbe" of St Gertruden after 
the said Abbe had deserted the party of the Estates. 
The same Abbe, before his desertion of his old party, had 
made him poison Don John of Austria, and had promised 
him twenty thousand florins for doing it although he 


never paid more than the half. Proofs of all these things, 
as is generally the case in such matters, were defective, 
but the facts were certainly true. This fine fellow 
boasted he could kill a man by only touching him and in 
truth a colonel in Antwerp, called Adam van der Hulst, 
died raving mad after only accompanying M. du Plessis 
who went to see him in order to identify him. The part 
which M. du Plessis took in the affairs of the Low 
Countries and the Prince of Orange's friendship for him 
were the reasons for this attempt on his life. Besides 
which the Duke of Alencon (Anjou) was at Mons, pushing 
his claim to the Low Countries with the worst of 
advisers to help him who made him suspicious of every 
protestant, even M. du Plessis himself. 

M. du Plessis' illness lasted four months although he 
still transacted business in spite of the fact that he 
entirely lost the power of writing. During his illness 
the King of Navarre wrote to ask his advice as to what 
reply should be made to the King of France's insistent 
demand that the mass and all the Romish ceremonies 
should be reinstated in Beam. The advice he gave I 
have found among his papers. To put it briefly it was 
to this effect : that, for the satisfaction of the King of 
France, a synod should be convoked after the manner of 
other Princes in his sovereign principality of Bdarn, and 
that a safe conduct should be given to all the theologians 
of Europe, of both confessions of faith, expenses for their 
journey to be defrayed and the meeting to be proclaimed 
everywhere, even in Rome and Spain ; whence it would 
follow that, if they came, the truth would be proclaimed 
to all his subjects by the very same method by which he 
designed to instruct the King of France ; while, if they 
refused to come, he would have a good excuse to give to 
the said King and would teach his people to hate lies. 
Certain worldly counsel set the King of Navarre against 
this plan, some people thinking he was too unimportant 
a Prince to attempt such a thing. M. du Plessis, on the 
contrary, cited the Duke of Saxony, John Frederick, 


who ventured even further in the face of an Emperor 
and in more dangerous circumstances. Half-way through 
M. du Plessis' illness we left Antwerp for Ghent, partly 
on account of the plague which broke out in the house 
where we lodged and partly for the mere pleasure of a 
change. The people of that town came to Antwerp to 
fetch us and furnished a noble lodging on purpose for 
us. In Ghent, so soon as he felt a little better he went 
on with his book which he finished not very long after at 
Antwerp. During all this time I was not free from my 
share of troubles, my own health bad, he in danger, our 
family in a foreign land, our private affairs in France in a 
great mess and bothered with debts both in England and 
Flanders which we had incurred on behalf of public 
business. But God always gave me patience and com- 
fort and raised up friends and ways and means for me. 
So that without worrying M. du Plessis, or at least as 
little as I could, I managed to arrange for everything. 

Whilst we were at Ghent war in France broke out 
again in April 1580. The King of Navarre sent the late 
M. d'Hagraville, whom he had already employed more 
than once in a similar manner, to M. du Plessis, with 
orders that he was to cross over to England to explain 
this fresh appeal to arms and to ask for help. This 
mission annoyed M. du Plessis very much for he con- 
sidered the war to be neither right nor necessary. He 
set off to say good-bye to M. de la Noue who was on the 
point of carrying out an attempt on Lille which they 
had planned together. M. de la Noue had left his 
infantry to take part in the siege of Ingelmunster, under 
the command of M. de Marguettes. On receiving a 
warning that the Vicomte de Gand was on his way to 
raise the siege M. de la Noue abandoned his own enter- 
prise to go to the help of his men and thereupon was 
defeated and taken prisoner. I remember clearly that 
M. du Plessis never thought well of this siege because of 
the inexperience of the man in command, and he told 
M. de la Noue his opinion. M. du Plessis had no sooner 


reached Dunkirk than the bad news about M. de la Noue 
followed him. The Provincial estates sent two of their 
worthiest members after him to beseech him to turn 
back in consequence of this disaster. He hesitated to 
do so because he was leaving the country by the King of 
Navarre's orders. All the same he consented to delay a 
few days and joined with them in putting matters into 
good order, in strengthening various places, in collecting 
the scattered troops and in garrisoning certain necessary 
spots so that the trouble did not spread. The Prince of 
Orange thanked him for his services and so did the 
Estates General. They sent M. de Saint Ald^gonde * to 
him, chief Counsellor of State and a very great person, 
to talk over the affairs of Flanders with him. As for the 
provincial Estates of Flanders the whole body besought 
him to assume control during the absence and captivity 
of M. de la Noue, with the same authority and appoint- 
ments. But M. du Plessis excused himself setting his 
master's need before his own convenience and 
advancement. , 

The results of the aforementioned defeat of M. de la 
Noue having been guarded against M. du Plessis again 
set out for England. He found it not a little difficult to 
persuade the Queen that the fresh fighting in France was 
the result of ripe deliberation. Not that the enemy had 
not given plenty of provocation but yet not enough, in 
the opinion of the best informed, to lead to war. Never- 
theless, he got fifty thousand crowns from the Queen to 
be used in Germany, and she furthermore lent the weight 
of her authority by sending a special embassy to assist in 
the raising of troops. But in the middle of these negotia- 
tions the Prince (Duke of Anjou) arrived in England 
before M. du Plessis had the slightest warning. He came 
partly to press his suit to the Queen and partly because 
Duke Casimir wanted before anything to be rid of him. 
Contrary to M. du Plessis' advice the Prince asked the 
Queen for 300,000 crowns, thinking to swell her liberality 

1 Philippe de Marnix, Seigneur de St Aldegonde. 



by his own importance which request so offended her 
that she declined to give anything at all, telling him 
plainly that the war was unjust, blaming the bad advice 
he had listened to and bidding him go without further 
delay. M. du Plessis wanted to stay behind in England 
to see if he could patch matters up, and this was what all 
his friends advised him to do. However, the Prince 
peremptorily forbade him. He told M. du Plessis that 
he would not have any Frenchman staying behind and 
M. du Plessis least of all because the Queen had com- 
plained bitterly of his behaviour. So he was forced to 
follow the Prince. He wrote to the Queen on his 
departure expressing his grief at displeasing her. Where- 
upon she sent a messenger after him, post-haste, with a 
letter partly in her own handwriting (which may still be 
seen among his papers) in which she declared that no 
foreign gentleman had ever visited England whom she 
esteemed more highly than she did M. du Plessis, that 
she had never spoken nor even thought of him in dis- 
paraging terms, and she put anything reported to the 
contrary down to the Prince's deafness. 

The Prince landed at Sluys in Flanders and thence 
went first to Bruges and then on to Ghent, where he 
stayed one day, and was everywhere very well received. 
The following night on the point of daybreak the enemy 
under the Vicomte de Gand and la Motte, governor of 
Gravelines, attempted to scale the city wall by the help 
of one of the elbows of a bastion, at which they were 
working. M. du Plessis had warned them of the danger 
of this spot before he left for England. By God's help 
the enemy was repulsed and the next day they continued 
their march to Antwerp. I remember that on the alarm 
of this attempt being given M. du Plessis, alone and 
almost naked, had barely time to bid one of the members 
of the Estates of Flanders (a man named Burgrave, 
deputy from Franc, who brought him the news that 
the enemy had captured the bastion, which was not true), 
to send for the French troops camped at Audenarde, for 


the Scots at Menin and for other troops in various 
places. For it was better to fight the enemy in the town 
itself, if they should get in, rather than lose it. He also 
ordered that some of the bridges in the town should be 
broken in order to give more time to retard the enemy's 
advance as well as to give time for help to arrive. Having 
given these orders he next told me to retreat to the 
Antwerp gate with my children because this would be 
the last place where the troops would rally if the city 
were taken, and that I must be sure to save his nearly 
finished book ; I did as he bade me. 

It was about this time that the Prince's negotiations 
came to a head. At the beginning he pretended to help 
the Low Countries, next he spoke of protecting them and 
finally he aspired to their lordship. He based his claim 
on the argument that the country could not defend itself 
alone, and that the French were the only people who 
could help it against Spain. M. du Plessis, who knew 
the late Duke of Anjou's character as well as the wicked- 
ness and rashness of his advisers and their hatred of the 
true religion, was convinced that their open protesta- 
tions were incompatible with their secret intentions. 
He often told the Prince of Orange that if he could get 
along without the Duke he would be wise to do so ; if 
he could not he had better have him for a helper than 
for a master ; if he had to accept him for a master he 
ought, at least, to tie him down by conditions that 
would prevent him from being mischievous. The 
Prince of Orange, worn out with suffering, broken down 
by the long-drawn war and by the bitter slanders he had 
had to endure, made up his mind to take the final step 
and begged M. du Plessis' assistance. After various 
public declarations the first result of this decision was 
seen at Ghent, where the resolution to renounce all 
obedience to the King of Spain was definitely taken and 
the election of a new Prince decided on. M. du Plessis 
gave his help, but only on the assurance that the new 
prince was to be bound by such conditions, that, humanly 


speaking, no harm could follow ; these conditions, how- 
ever, were immediately relaxed solely because people 
were too ready to be deceived. I could see that M. du 
Plessis was shocked at the carelessness with which such a 
weighty matter was managed. The deputies, in whose 
hands the negotiations with the Duke of Anjou were 
placed, allowed themselves to be taken by country roads 
all the way to Gascony, being feasted wherever they 
went, instead of going direct to Paris where they could 
have learnt from their friends what they really had to 
expect from the Duke. 

On M. du Plessis' return to Antwerp whither the hurry 
of all this business about the Duke called him, he finished 
his book on the Christian religion. It was printed by 
Plantin. 1 This work finished he went to France both 
on urgent private as well as on public business, and was 
commissioned by the Prince of Orange and the Estates 
General to point out to the Duke of Anjou the best way 
to relieve Cambrai, and thence to march triumphant to 
Antwerp. He first met the Duke secretly at la Ferte 
Gaucher, and later in open council at Chateau Thierry. 

The Duke contented himself with relieving Cambrai 
without going further, being advised, by his usual 
councillors, to leave his people alone in their need so 
that he might get more out of them later on. From 
Chateau Thierry M. du Plessis went on to Gascony to 
join the King of Navarre. The King told him that he 
wanted to keep him with him and never let him go 
again, making use of the strongest words possible to 
express his wishes. This settled, the King gave him 
leave to return to Flanders to fetch his family. He 
certainly did not find us sorry to see him back. God had 
given us a son during his absence, who was called Maurice. 
His godfathers were Count Maurice, the Prince of 
Orange's son, and M. Languet. His godmother Mile 
de Perez, of the family of Lopez Espagnol, a woman of 
great piety. Three months after his birth we lost the 

1 Christophe Plantin, 15 14-1589, celebrated printer. 


child, while his father was still away and while my other 
children lay dangerously ill. M. Languet, who was just 
like a father to us, also died at this time, and he and our 
son were both buried at Antwerp. M. Languet's only 
regret was at not seeing M. du Plessis once more before 
he died, and had it been possible, he would have left his 
loving heart with him. 

It was about this time that the French troops under 
Colonel la Garde, who were in garrison at Bergen-op- 
Zoom, mutinied for their pay and some among them 
even went so far as to talk of surrendering the town to 
the Spaniards. Their captains were not involved in 
the mutiny but all the same they were not sorry to take 
advantage of it. The Estates begged M. du Plessis to 
go to Bergen and bring the troops back to their duty, 
which he did. The same evening that he arrived news 
came that the enemy were only five leagues away. He 
was taken the round and shown how strong the guard 
was so that he might report favourably to his superiors. 
This was lucky, for just before daybreak, by an arrange- 
ment with two carpenters within the walls, the sluices 
of the Zoom were raised where the river flowed into the 
town under a tower, and the enemy waded in through 
the water up to their knees, and seized the corn market. 
M. du Plessis, who lodged with M. de Fouguerolles, one 
of the captains, ran thither half-dressed, where he rallied 
all the men he could. It was God's will by the bravery 
of some of the captains, that the enemy should be repulsed 
with the loss of many of their best troops. Humanly 
speaking, a blunder saved the town, for the invaders 
meant to have opened the Porte du Havre to their 
cavalry, an easy gate to force, whereas their guides took 
them by mistake to the Porte du Vauve which had a 
drawbridge and a portcullis, and this upset all their 
plans. But all this can be read in the history books. 

M. du Plessis, partly on account of the promise he had 
given to the King of Navarre, partly because he believed 
no good was likely to come of the treaty with the Duke 


of Anjou, made up his mind to return to France. He 
settled his debts to the satisfaction of every one and bade 
farewell to the Prince of Orange and all his friends. As 
I was sitting in my carriage by the water's side, waiting 
to cross the Scheldt by the ferry-boat, M. Junius, burgo- 
master of Antwerp, accompanied by several of the 
sheriffs, came to stop me, declaring that they had need 
of M. du Plessis and really could not let him go. I pro- 
tested with all my might but in the end they escorted me 
back and made the same declaration to him. The 
Prince of Orange wrote from Ghent in the same strain and 
the Princess, his wife, was also asked to persuade us. It 
was extremely inconvenient to us after making all our 
arrangements to leave. Finally, M. du Plessis said he 
could not consent unless he had permission from his 
master, the King of Navarre. A messenger was immedi- 
ately sent to His Majesty who brought back a further 
leave of absence for six months. When the Duke of 
Anjou arrived in the Low Countries and learnt what 
had happened, his dislike of M. du Plessis was redoubled, 
and so was the jealousy of his advisers, however much 
they all pretended to the contrary. Nor was this dislike 
lessened by a message which the Queen of England and 
her special servants sent to the Estates ; to wit : that the 
Duke's intentions would be judged by the way in which 
he used M. du Plessis. The result was to make the Duke 
very friendly to him in public but never to divulge any 
of his secret plans. It had been agreed that the Duke 
should have two French counsellors added to the Estates, 
the choice to lie with the Estates, but, as he was convinced 
that M. du Plessis would certainly be chosen for one, he 
preferred to have none at all. The four provinces of 
Flanders wanted someone to take command and asked to 
have M. du Plessis appointed. The Duke replied that 
he could not spare him. People thought from this he 
was all-powerful whereas in truth he was of very little 
account and was likely to be of less. For this reason he 
explained his position to some of his friends, and, so as to 


avoid being used as an instrument to deceive the people 
as well as being blamed undeservedly, he made up his 
mind to leave the country. The Duke, who was afraid 
that M. du Plessis' departure might be prejudicial to 
his schemes put a chance in his way which was as fraudu- 
lent as it was complimentary. A proposal came before 
the Council of State to send a solemn embassy to the 
Emperor and the Imperial Diet at Augsburg to justify 
the Estates in their election of a new prince, and to offer 
homage for the Duchy of Brabant and the other provinces 
included in the Empire. Whereupon the Duke named 
the Duke of Bouillon * and M. du Plessis as ambassadors, 
knowing that every one would approve of his choice. 
The necessary papers and instructions were drawn up, 
even his speeches were prepared, and yet M. du Plessis 
was always of opinion that this journey would never be 
undertaken and that it was only a trick to get him 
decently out of the country. He was so certain that he 
could not pretend that he believed in it even to the Duke 
himself. I have seen him argue over it with his brother, 
M. de Buhy, who was completely taken in. Lodgings 
were engaged at Augsburg and his suite arranged. But 
when M. du Plessis got to Paris, where he had to go 
for money and for the King's authorization of the mission, 
Renand, the treasurer, whispered in his ear that the 
Duke had countermanded all payments to the Duke of 
Bouillon and himself for their expenses as ambassadors, 
as well as for the presents which they properly ought to 
take with them. Thereupon M. du Plessis sent back 
his dispatches to the Duke and excused himself from the 

During the brief time that he stayed at Antwerp after 
the Duke arrived there he gladly withdrew from all 
public business, for the reasons which I have mentioned 
before. He spent his time in translating his book on 
the Truths of Christianity into latin, which was also 
printed by Plantin at Leyden. We still have it all in 

1 Guillaume Robert de la Marck, 1564-1588. 


his own handwriting. A book printed in Paris treating 
of the genealogies of Lorraine • fell into his hands about 
this time ; on reading it he saw that it had no other 
object than to prove that the crown of France really 
belonged to the House of Lorraine. He thereupon made 
a copy of certain passages, word for word, and sent it to 
King Henri III. The King thanked him for it, put it 
carefully by and asked him to write a refutation of it ; 
which he did. The author, one Rosieres, archdeacon of 
Toul, was called before the King's Privy Council and 
censured. Everybody has seen the consequences of this 
claim later on. 

The first attempt to assassinate the Prince of Orange 
happened at this time. He was dangerously wounded 
and was not expected to live. M. du Plessis was con- 
stantly with him, and the Prince, thinking he must die, 
bade him farewell with every sign of friendship and a 
prayer that he would be a good friend to his children. 
In spite of all the worries we had in Flanders I will not 
deny that I was very sorry to leave the country. This 
was partly because I was afraid of the miserable state of 
France and partly because I anticipated, and rightly, that 
I should see less of M. du Plessis than I had done hitherto. 

1 Sttmmata Lotharingiae ac Barri ducum, by Fr. de Rosieres. This book 
was written to prove the descent of the House of Lorraine from Charlemagne. 


At the Court of Navarre 

We left Flanders in July 1582. M. du Plessis no sooner 
reached Paris than an express came from the King of 
Navarre bidding him go to Vitray, in Brittany, as his 
representative at the celebrated General Synod which 
was then sitting at that town, under the presidency of 
M. Merlin, a man of rare piety, prudence and sound 
doctrine. M. du Plessis shared in all the meetings to 
the satisfaction of the whole company, which did him the 
honour to consult him on every point that came up for 
discussion. They even said that if he had come with no 
official position they would still have begged him to do 
them the honour to sit with them. The Flemish 
Churches, through their ministers sent for this special 
purpose, agreed to unite with the churches in France in 
the same confession of faith. M. du Plessis proposed 
certain ways by which the kingdom of Christ might be 
advanced throughout the realm, which were agreed to. 
He was then asked if he would undertake to write a book, 
much needed at this time, in which he should treat of 
the origin, progress and growth of each and every abuse 
in the Church ; which book, owing to the wickedness of 
the times, he has not yet had leisure to begin. 

The charge to the Synod which the King of Navarre 
had given M. du Plessis consisted in two points. The 
first, that they should elect in every province some 
person qualified to assist the Council in church matters. 
The second, that they should choose several ministers, 
learned and moderate men, to accompany an Embassy 
which the King intended to send into England, Germany, 


Switzerland, etc., to exhort the different countries to 
meet in a General Synod where the differences between 
the various faiths could be adjusted by God's word, and 
thereby a greater unity of aims and objects be obtained. 
Unknown to M. du Plessis letters were written in the 
name of the Synod begging the King of Navarre to select 
him for this embassy. The King did not do so, however, 
because M. de Segur de Pardaillan, who was at this time 
very influential with the King, wanted to go himself. 
From Vitray M. du Plessis went to Gascony, where the 
King of Navarre was at that time, to give an account of 
the Synod. Throughout the whole of this journey M. 
de Buzenval 1 accompanied him, a gentleman of great 
learning and the rarest quality, and his very good friend. 
He since managed the King's affairs, both as King of 
Navarre and afterwards as King of France, very success- 
fully in England and the Low Countries. 

I was pregnant at this time and was brought to bed 
at Plessis with a daughter. She was baptized Anne and 
her godfather was M. de Buhy, and his wife, Anne 
d'Anlezy, 2 my sister-in-law, was her godmother. M. du 
Plessis had leave to come to Paris for a few days. Just as 
he was ready to start on his return to Gascony, hastened 
by several letters from the King of Navarre (for his leave 
was a very short one), the King of Navarre very press- 
ingly suggested that he should accept the seals of Navarre, 
adding that he would not be required to don the lawyer's 
gown, as was often the case in England, Scotland, 
Poland and other important States, where the seals 
were frequently held by the great nobles of the country. 
M. du Plessis excused himself for refusing the King's 
offer not thinking it wise to change his way of life and 
his profession. 

For some dissatisfaction with M. de Gratemx, the 
chancellor, the King of Navarre decided to give him as 

1 Paul Choart de Buzenval, diplomat much employed by Henri IV, 
d. 1607. 

1 Mile de Buhy, wife of Pierre de Mornay, M. de Buhy 


a colleague M. Arnoul du Ferrier, a member of the 
Council, who had lately returned from Venice. M. du 
Ferrier accepted the post and on his acceptance made 
public profession of the true religion which he had long 
professed privately. He declined to do this in the way 
M. du Plessis wanted him to do as can be seen by his 
letters on the subject. M. du Plessis maintained that 
the conversion of M. du Ferrier was not like that of a 
private person and that he ought to declare publicly, 
in some well-known church and on a fixed day, his 
reasons for leaving the Church of Rome at the age of 
four score, and that he should then send a written state- 
ment of his reasons to the Princes and countries where 
he was known. A natural shyness made M. du Ferrier 
refuse although he was full of zeal in every other way. 
It was about this time that an attempt was made to 
publish the decrees of the Council of Trent. M. du 
Plessis wrote a remonstrance which was printed and very 
well received by all good Frenchmen. 

About this time the Vicomte de Chaux Navarrois and 
his brother-in-law, Undiano, arrived in Bdarn on behalf 
of the King of Spain. The King of Navarre, who was 
at Nerac, sent M. du Plessis to see what they wanted. 
What their proposals came to was this : that if the King 
of Navarre would make war on the King of France, the 
King of Spain would give him 300,000 crowns down and 
100,000 a month to defray the cost, and would make no 
difficulties on the score of religion. The King of Spain 
warned the King of Navarre that if the guarantee towns 
were not given up the King of France intended himself 
to renew the war, while if they were given up the persecu- 
tions would begin at once, and that a plot to assassinate 
the King of Navarre was afoot. The Vicomte further 
said that if the King of Navarre would change his religion 
the King of Spain would give him his daughter in marriage 
and would himself marry the King of Navarre's sister. 1 
The reasons for all these mighty fine offers were first the 
1 Catherine de Bourbon, 1558-1604, m. Due de Bar 1599. 


King of Spain's longing for vengeance for all the ill-deeds 
the French had done in Flanders, and secondly his 
desire, in his old age, to secure some safe alliance for his 
son's youth. The King of Navarre would neither listen, 
nor was he advised to listen, to any of these proposals 
for it was perfectly plain that their sole object was the 
ruin of France. And as to the double marriage to follow 
the King of Navarre's conversion the answer sent to the 
King of Spain was, that the King of Navarre would give 
way to him so far as kingly power went, but never in 
conscience or honour. However, so as to avoid a complete 
rupture the King of Navarre offered to pledge all the 
property he had in the Low Countries to the King of 
Spain for 100,000 crowns, so long as the loan should not 
carry an obligation to go to war, which might not prove 
necessary although the times certainly seemed very 
threatening. The Spanish envoys came back a second 
time, but failing to induce the King of Navarre to declare 
war on the King of France, they departed with these 
words : " You do not know what you are doing, for our 
merchants are waiting to buy," meaning that if the 
King of Navarre refused the Guises were ready to treat. 

The King of Spain had offered a sum of 30,000 crowns 
if the King of Navarre would undertake to bring about a 
reconciliation between him and his subjects in the Low 
Countries. He also was ready to grant the King of 
Navarre a safe conduct into Spain and back so that he 
might explain his wishes by word of mouth, and he was 
even ready to concede something in the way of religious 
liberty ; and all because of his extreme desire to rid 
Flanders of the Duke of Alencon. The King of Navarre 
would have nothing to do with this proposition either 
and this for several reasons. The Duke of Alencon at 
this very moment had let himself be persuaded by 
wicked councillors to make himself master of Antwerp l 
by force, thereby ruining his prospects and his reputation 

1 The " French Fury," 1583. Anjou attempted to seize Antwerp by 
treachery, but was defeated by the citizens and most of his troops killed. 


alike. I have often heard M. du Plessis say, when the 
betrayal of Antwerp was spoken of in his hearing, that he 
had never felt a profounder joy than when he heard of 
the vengeance taken for that deed of treachery. The 
Prince of Orange confessed that he had often heard M. 
du Plessis predict what would happen, and that his words 
had come true in every particular save one ; to wit, his 
good opinion of the Prince's cousin, the Comte de Saint 
Aignan, who was among the first concerned in the 
attempt on the city. 

At this same time the King of Navarre sent M. de 
Segur de Pardaillan to Germany, to discuss a union of 
all protestant religions and an association for its protection 
by the Queen of England, the King of Denmark and the 
German Princes. His memoranda and instructions were 
drawn up by M. du Plessis. This was done mainly 
because it was clear that those in France, who have since 
caused such confusion and turmoil, aimed at subverting 
the State under the pretence of defeating the protestants. 
M. de Segur was chief of the household business and 
finances of Navarre, and it was necessary to fill his office 
during his absence. The King of Navarre appointed 
M. de Clervant and M. du Plessis, although M. du 
Plessis protested vigorously, on the grounds that he was 
a stranger, new to his service, unpractised in finance, and 
above all of a temper which shrank from displeasing 
anyone, whereas in a business position of this sort it 
might be his duty to vex his best friends. At last he 
accepted it conjointly with M. de Clervant, and I have 
often heard him say that the companionship of a man of 
such quality and worth had weighed more than any other 
circumstance in his acceptance. He was a man of the 
highest honour, of an illustrious house in Vienne, full of 
integrity, and they worked together like two brothers. 
They were both filled with fine plans of re-establishing 
the House of Navarre in splendour, impoverished as it 
was by bad management and waste through the troubles, 
which plans have so far been prevented by the continua- 


tion of the misery of the times. The Queen of Navarre 
at this time began to bargain with the King, her husband, 
for her return to him, and the King, her brother, was on 
account of her behaviour by no means anxious to keep 
her at his Court. Matters, indeed, came to such a pass 
that in the end King Henri III sent her away, rudely 
enough, and two leagues out of Paris he had her coaches 
searched and three of her ladies taken out of them and 
sent prisoners to the Abbey of Ferrieres. There they 
had to submit to a very close interrogation, even in 
matters concerning the Queen's honour. The King of 
Navarre heard all about this while he was at Nerac and 
he thought it a hard matter to take back his wife after 
such a public affront. So he decided to send someone to 
the King, as being the head of the family, to assure him 
that he would do the Queen no dishonour unless she were 
herself guilty of dishonour. If she were really guilty he 
begged the King to punish her, but if she were innocent 
then he demanded that those who were authors of the 
slanders should be brought to justice. M. du Plessis was 
entrusted with this message to the King who was at 
Lyons and he found it a thorny embassy enough, acting 
as intermediary between husband and wife and brother 
and sister in such a ticklish affair. However, the King 
of Navarre was satisfied and the King (of France) was not 
offended although M. du Plessis spoke very plainly. 
There was a good deal of going to and fro between the 
Kings till things were settled but the whole discussion 
can be read in M. du Plessis' own notes. The King (of 
France) took it into his head, after M. du Plessis had 
delivered his message, to question him upon his religion. 
M. du Plessis said very frankly that if he had listened to 
his carnal desires he would have preferred peace and 
happiness, and if he had listened to his worldly wisdom 
he would have sought after wealth and honours, and 
perhaps not unsuccessfully, for he well knew that the 
party to which he belonged had none of these things to 
offer ; but he had obeyed his conscience which bade him 


hold cheap what he would naturally have valued highly. 
His Majesty took it in good part and praised him for his 
sentiments. A warning reached the King of Navarre 
whilst M. du Plessis was absent that there was a plot to 
attack him on the highway, and so the King sent a 
courier, post-haste, to bid him be on his guard. And in 
truth he ran into great danger between Paris and Lyons 
from an attempt made on his life by some of the Queen 
of Navarre's special friends. But God had him in His 
care. I went to join him in Paris where he only stayed 
one day. Although I was very near my time I took him 
in my coach as far as Orleans, whence he took the road to 
Limoges. I believe this journey over paved roads did 
me harm, because some time later I was delivered at 
Rouen of twin sons, both still-born. I ran the greatest 
danger of my life and was in the deepest trouble because 
M. du Plessis could not be with me. I was so sure of 
death that I made my testamenf. My chief aim in so 
doing was to put into it my confession of faith, leaving all 
other things for M. du Plessis to settle according to his 
own wishes. But I also wrote him a letter to bid him 
farewell and to beg him to care for our children. I wrote 
it all with my own hand, as can be seen among our papers, 
and I never thought I should have the happiness to see 
him again. God helped me through all, using as His 
instrument M. de l'Aigle, one of the foremost men in the 
medical profession. 

At the beginning of the year 1584 another occasion 
arose for sending M. du Plessis into France, 1 for all this 
long time I only saw him now and again by chance, and 
then often at great risk to himself because the times were 
so very evil. Information more than once reached the 
King of Navarre on the plots of the King of Spain and 
the Duke of Savoy 2 against France by means of the House 
of Lorraine. At one time a certain Captain Beauregard 

1 Mile du Plessis here uses the wocfc ' France ' to signify the country 
north of the Loire. IV 

* Charles Emanuel succeeded his father 1580, d. 1530. 



came to him with an account of all the enterprises in 
which the Duke of Savoy had employed him in Dauphine" 
and Provence, and in particular he told him about a 
great design to seize Aries, which a Captain Espiard had 
undertaken. Another time he was told of the plans made 
to seize Orleans and Chalons sur Saone. From Spain he 
learnt what were the pensions that the King of that 
country was scattering about France, and finally news 
reached him from someone in the Viceroy of Valencia's 
household that war with France was to be declared. 
These last items of news recalled what the Spanish envoys 
had said on leaving, " That their merchants were waiting 
and ready." So he sent for M. de Chatillon and M. du 
Plessis, just these two and no others, to discuss the whole 
matter with him. They were all agreed that they must 
not let France be lost and that an effort must be made to 
convince the King (of France) where his duty lay. 1 So 
M. du Plessis was dispatched to the King to place all the 
facts before him so that he might do what was right and 
proper. M. du Plessis travelled post and on the way fell 
in with M. de Lausac, the King of Spain's chief agent in 
France. M. de Lausac has since confessed that he was 
very near doing him an ill-turn. When M. du Plessis 
reached his journey's end the King listened to him 
privately and very patiently. He prefaced his statement 
by saying that he knew that information coming from 
huguenot sources would be suspect, but he implored 
the King to believe that a man might be both a good 
huguenot and a good Frenchman. The King was 
certainly much moved by these disclosures, even to saying 
that M. du Plessis was the first person who had given 
him any insight as to what was really happening in the 
kingdom. He did, in fact, send out orders in a thousand 
directions in an attempt to remedy things ; he seized 
the siege material prepared for the attack on Aries ; 
changed the governor of Briancon in Dauphine" ; and 

1 Philip II, of Spain, signed a treaty with the leaders of the League in 
Dec. 1584. 


imagined that he had provided for the safety of Orleans 
and other places. He even did M. du Plessis the honour 
to consult him on the right measures to take in matters 
of such moment. Whereupon M. du Plessis had the 
boldness to reply that in former times Marshals of France 
had been arrested who had had less chance to do mischief 
and who deserved it less than those of the house of 
Lorraine. But he had small hope of any good coming 
from his mission because the King told him to repeat all 
that he had said to the Queen mother, and when he 
demurred the King himself took him to her. The Duke 
of Alencon also arrived at Court and the King talked to 
him too, and finally all the King's dispatches were drawn 
up by M. de Villeroi, 1 the Secretary of State. Of 
course, everything came to the ears of M. de Guise, who 
was at Court, and who immediately sent his own hired 
assassin, Captain Johannes, to lodge at the sign of the 
Bitted Gosling, rue de Bussy, opposite M. du Plessis' 
lodging, with orders to catch him going in or out. A 
warning reached M. du Plessis, and so, furnished with a 
passport from the King, he left Paris by way of Montargis, 
thence to Gien and so by water to Tours, and thus 
reached Gascony in safety. In consideration of the 
service he had done him the King offered him a hundred 
thousand francs. M. du Plessis refused the offer, although 
he might very properly have taken a present from his 
King had he not been afraid it would stir up ill will. 
Instead of this gift to himself he begged the King to 
recompense the King of Navarre, his master, whereupon 
the King granted him fifty thousand crowns, payable 
from the salt dues of Pecaiz, and out of this grant the 
King of Navarre made M. du Plessis a present of 500 
crowns. His Majesty (Henri III), tried his hardest to 
make M. du Plessis say that M. de Montmorenci had a 
share in all these plots, but M. du Plessis steadily denied 

1 Nicholas de Neufville, Seigneur de Villeroi, Secretary of State ; joined 
the League, but after Henri Ill's death attached himself to Henri IV, 1542- 



it. Another result of this mission was to make the King 
think more kindly of M. de Chatillon. 

It was during this journey to Paris that M. de Buhy 
and M. du Plessis divided their paternal inheritance. 
They set a very notable example of brotherly concord for 
they both submitted to their mother's decision, and, 
although it was not easy for several reasons, the business 
was successfully settled without recourse to a notary. 
It was just at this time that I began to write these memoirs. 

The movements of the House of Lorraine, the near 
approach of the date on which the guarantee towns 
ought to be given up, M. d'Alen con's perpetual desire 
for something new, and other such reasons, convinced 
M. du Plessis that France could not long remain at peace. 
So, as he longed for us to be as much together as the 
misery of the age allowed, he decided that I must come 

/to Gascony. We settled our private affairs as best we 
could so that I could follow him as soon as I was ready. 
He wanted me to bring our son with us because the boy 
ought not to lose time and also because it was better for 
him to be out of the reach of enemies. I had all the 
work in the world to get him away from his grandmother, 
Mile de Buhy. I had never been afraid to follow M. du 
Plessis to England, to Flanders or anywhere else, but now 
the thought of Gascony filled me with horror. I would 
gladly have given up going because of a vision I had had 
ten years before this, and two years before we were 
married, and which now constantly returned to my mind. 
The vision was this, that the Kingdom would be split 
up and that to save myself from the disaster I fled to 
Gascony, which was a thing I should never have thought 
of doing at that date. I started with a small train and 
while on the road I heard of the Duke of Alencon's 
death. When I reached Sainte Foi, M. du Plessis came 
to meet me and escort me to Montauban, the town he 
had chosen for my usual place of residence. He was 
influenced in his choice by the fact that a General 
Assembly of the Churches was being held there, by the 


King's permission, to discuss what could be done to 
secure peace and what reply should be made to the 
King's demand by the mouth of M. de Believre, His 
Majesty's Councillor of State, for the surrender of the 
guarantee towns. 

In this Assembly, which included the King of Navarre, 
the Prince of Conde, M. de Laval, M. de Turenne, M. 
de Chatillon and many lords, gentlemen and persons 
nominated by all the Churches throughout the kingdom, 
a petition to the King was drawn up. In it His Majesty 
was humbly implored to correct the manifold ways in 
which his Edicts of Pacification were either ignored or 
contravened whether in matters of religion, justice or of 
the promised securities and pledges. M. du Plessis was 
unanimously elected to draw up this petition in accordance 
with the instructions of the provinces represented in the 
Assembly. It was also resolved to ask His Majesty to 
leave the guarantee towns in the hands of the protestants 
for several years longer, and for the same reasons that 
they were conceded in the first instance, to wit : the 
bitter ill-feeling and distrust arising from the non- 
execution of the aforesaid Edicts. The Assembly also 
unanimously selected M. de Laval and M. du Plessis to 
carry this petition as well as their many complaints and 
requests to His Majesty. M. du Plessis declined on the 
grounds that he could not be spared from the management 
of the King of Navarre's household and also that his own 
family had only just arrived in a town which was entirely 
strange to them. In spite of this the King of Navarre 
declared that go he must, and all the more because 
M. de Laval said he would not go unless M. du Plessis 
went too. In truth this journey was very hard for me 
to bear after coming so far in the hope of securing a 
little comfort in life. But the public good must come 
first. After the King (of France) had spent several days 
discussing the petition with the Chancellor, M. de 
Birague, and Messrs Villequier 1 and Believre, by God's 

1 Rene de Villequier, Baron de Clairvaux, favourite of Henri III. 


grace he gave his assent to the greater part of the requests 
expressed in it so far as they concerned religion ; certain 
regulations in the Chambres de Justice * were also made, 
in agreement with the Presidents of the Court, after a 
two-days' conference between Messrs de Laval and du 
Plessis and the King's representatives in the Chambre St 
Louis ; but the greatest concession of all, after a flat 
refusal at first, was the King's consent that the protestants 
should keep the guarantee towns in their hands for two 
years longer. By this concession those of the religion 
could plead a justification of their conduct when the 
League started a fresh war soon after, because otherwise 
the Leaguers would have had an excellent pretext in the 
fact that the guarantee towns had not been surrendered. 
All the papers relating to this affair are still in our hands. 
It is worth remarking that when M. du Plessis went to 
bid the Cardinal de Bourbon farewell, the Cardinal 
closely questioned him on what the King had said, and 
that when M. du Plessis told him that the towns were 
not to be given up for two years he looked greatly taken 
aback, thereby showing his ill will. Nor did the Cardinal's 
other actions contradict the impression he then gave, 
although only a few days previously he had bade M. du 
Plessis to assure the King of Navarre that as he had the 
honour to be his uncle he should always be his very good 
servant, and recognize him as the Head of his House. 
On his return M. du Plessis very plainly told the King 
of Navarre what he thought of the Cardinal. During 
the five months which M. du Plessis spent at the French 
Court the King often asked him what he heard about the 
Guises and their plots, about which he could tell him 
plenty, and His Majesty sometimes sent for him to come 
alone and see him privately on this matter. This 
annoyed M. du Plessis because he was afraid that M. de 
Laval would be jealous. However, this was no bar to 
their becoming such friends over this negotiation that 

1 Local temporary courts of inquiry into irregularities in the finances of 
various provinces. 


when, some time later, M. de Laval died, the King of 
Navarre would not let the news be sent to M. du Plessis, 
knowing how great his sorrow would be. Indeed, when 
the sad news did reach him he nearly fell ill with grief. 
He has never failed to show his affection to M. de Laval's 
children, as he had promised their father. 

The death of the Duke of Alencon set people a-think- 
ing. The King of Navarre, in the belief that the Queen 
Mother would be glad of his support should any changes 
(in the succession to the throne) be attempted, sent M. du 
Plessis to her with an offer of his services. Her daughter, 
the Queen of Navarre, who at this date was on good terms 
with her husband, also wrote to her but the Queen 
Mother sent back such a chilly reply that the King of 
Navarre, after thinking the matter over very carefully, 
came to the conclusion that she had already taken sides 
with the House of Lorraine and the late Cardinal de 
Bourbon. That she had done so became very apparent a 
few months later on. 


Church Discipline at Montauban 

Mlle du Plessis 1 set out on the 2nd of June 1584 (from 
the north of France) to join M. du Plessis, who on 
account of the position he held in the King of Navarre's 
household could ill be spared from his master's side. 
On hearing of her arrival at Sainte Foi, M. du Plessis 
came to meet her. As on the one hand the King of 
Navarre had not decided where to establish his principal 
residence, while on the other he had given permission 
for the deputies from the churches to meet at Montauban 
on the 20th August, M. du Plessis made up his mind to 
bring his family to this town so that his wife might have 
the pleasure of being near him during the Assembly. 
Afterwards they could move to whatever place in which 
the King might choose to pass the winter. After M. du 
Plessis had escorted his family to Montauban he rejoined 
the King at Pamiers. Mlle du Plessis made no change in 
her way of living whilst she was at Montauban, neither 
in food, nor dress nor coiffure, behaving exactly as she 
had done for the past fifteen years during which she had 
had the happiness of being accepted by several of the 
largest and best churches in Christendom, notably in 
Sedan, Germany, England, the Low Countries and 
France. Everywhere, to God be the glory, many people 
of worth can testify to the modesty with which she con- 
ducted herself. M. du Plessis returned to Montauban 
with the King for the Assembly ; there are many deputies 
from most of the churches in France who can bear witness 
that Mlle du Plessis neither in dress nor in behaviour 
showed vanity or cause for scandal. 

1 The following chapter was written by Mlle du Plessis but is not included 
in the Memoir. She wrote it in the third person. 



[/act p. 198 


Whilst he stayed in Montauban M. du Plessis sometimes 
asked M. Berault, the minister of the town, to come and 
see him and to eat and to drink with him, and M. Berault 
had plenty of opportunities, whilst they conversed 
together, to acquaint M. du Plessis with the schism which 
had arisen in his church. But as the schism was of his 
own contriving he naturally sought for no remedy. 
Mile du Plessis found that several very well-behaved 
families in the town were cut off from court because 
their womenfolk wore no false hair, although they 
protested against the way in which M. Berault interpreted 
a decree of the synod in a different way to what was the 
rule in all the other churches ; she also found other families 
who were publicly preached against because their members 
would not take an oath that their daughters should 
never wear wigs nor nets of gold thread, whence arose 
tumults and riots in the town. All the ladies of these 
various families were most anxious to settle how they 
were to dress their hair while M. du Plessis was still at 
Montauban. Sacrament Sunday drawing nigh M. 
Berault came to the house where Mile du Plessis lodged 
about ten days beforehand, bringing with him the sacra- 
ment tokens for the ' Ten ' » of the ward ; Mile du 
Plessis thereupon asked M. du Plessis to request M. 
Berault to give tokens for all of her household who were 
entitled to partake the Lord's Supper, a thing which she 
would never have done if she had not been willing to 
submit to the discipline of the church at Montauban, 
provided always that she was duly notified of the regula- 
tions. She very well knew without being told by M. 
Berault, that she could have applied to the court minister 
had it not been her wish to do everything possible for 
edification and friendliness. When M. du Plessis sent 
one of his men with a list of all his household who were 
eligible to join the Communion, accompanied with a 
request for tokens for them, M. Berault replied that he 

1 Officials whose business it was to distribute the tokens to communi- 


had enough to do with looking after his own flock without 
undertaking any further charge. He gave no other 
reason nor did he try to see M. du Plessis although he 
lodged in the same house and there was nothing but a 
gallery to traverse between the room in which he sat and 
M. du Plessis' bedchamber. He could have seen him 
and told him why he sent such a vague answer or what he 
really wanted the du Plessis family to do, and he would 
have received every satisfaction. After such a reply M. 
and Mile du Plessis decided that M. Berault required no 
change to be made in her attire but that he would prefer 
that they should apply to the court minister so that no 
prejudice should be done to the observances which he 
demanded from his own congregation. This being so 
Mile du Plessis thought no more of making any alteration 
in her accustomed coiffure. Some days after, as Mile du 
Plessis was leaving her lodging at the hour of morning 
service on her way to present a child for baptism along 
with M. de Chatillon, several members of the Montauban 
consistory met her at her door, saying that they had 
been waiting a long time for her. She answered that 
they had done wrong to do so for they knew that M. du 
Plessis' door always stood open to all worthy men. They 
said that they had been bidden to wait by the consistory 
so that M. du Plessis might not hear what they had to 
say to her. She replied that she would find it hard to 
keep anything from her husband, to whom she told even 
her thoughts so far as lay in her power, and knowing who 
M. du Plessis was she thought their behaviour passing 
strange. To be brief they told her what they had been 
sent to say, to wit, that she must discard her false hair. 
She said that it was curious that since they would not 
admit M. du Plessis' household among their flock that 
they should expect her to recognize them as her pastors. 
Moreover, in regard to their request she must refer them 
to M. du Plessis and she would abide by his decision. 

Shortly after this a special consistory was held to 
consider the schism which had existed at Montauban 


for four years past. It was composed of the town con- 
sistory to which was added the court consistory and 
certain well-known ministers of other churches. After 
a discussion on several families in the town the trouble 
with the du Plessis family was mentioned, although 
neither M. nor Mile du Plessis had expressed any desire 
that their affairs should be brought before the meeting. 
The meeting was of opinion that, having regard to the 
modest behaviour of the whole family in dress and general 
behaviour and, moreover, M. du Plessis' manner of living 
being very well known to every one, no change in their 
costume should be required. This decision was influenced 
by the well-known spitefulness of court gossip, whose 
criticisms they could not escape, as well as by the fact 
that Mile du Plessis was not a citizen of Montauban 
and was therefore not amenable to its regulations. This 
being decided, M. Cahier, the court minister, was asked 
to give them their tokens. Passing M. du Plessis' lodging 
he came in and only finding Mile du Plessis at home he 
told her that he should have their tokens ready whenever 
M. du Plessis liked to send for them. Soon afterwards, 
however, M. Cahier was forbidden by the Montauban 
consistory or rather by some of its members to give 
tokens to M. du Plessis either for himself or any of his 
family. It seemed a strange proceeding, considering 
how the matter had been discussed in such a worthy and 
notable company, that its decision should be contradicted 
by a few private persons. However, when M. du Plessis 
sent for his tokens M. Cahier came to excuse himself for 
not doing as he had been told to do, and thereupon the 
news ran all round the town and the court that M. du 
Plessis and all his family had been excommunicated 
without a word of explanation. It was an aggravation 
that several nobles and people of quality of the other 
religion were at court at the time. The result was that 
on Saturday morning when M. du Plessis went to the 
King's levee every one began to laugh at him, and some 
even took it as an occasion to abuse our religion and our 


ministers which really did annoy him. Mile du Plessis 
went to the sermon and on her return two elders of the 
court consistory escorted her home. As she was con- 
versing with them in her chamber Messrs Berault and 
Bironier, both ministers of Montauban, came in. M. 
Berault began by making his excuses for coming so 
seldom to see M. du Plessis, adding that his reason for 
not doing so was that he knew how busy M. du Plessis 
was whilst the Assembly sat. Mile du Plessis replied 
that her husband had certainly been very much occupied 
but in spite of that, other people had been to see him ; 
she knew, she said, that M. Berault had not really come 
to excuse himself and she might tell him plainly that M. 
du Plessis had not been so angry for a long time past as 
he was at the present moment. M. du Plessis had 
brought his family to Montauban to give them peace 
and quiet but they got nothing of the sort. Instead of 
having the happiness of serving as a means of edification 
as they had done for the last nine years, in whatever 
country they had lived, here, in Montauban, they had 
had the unhappiness of being nothing but a cause of 
scandal ; M. du Plessis thought it passing strange that 
he and all his family should be excommunicated without 
a word ; and finally that it was neither in accordance 
with the law of charity nor the commands of God to 
punish a wrongdoer before admonishing him. Thereupon 
M. Berault told her that he had come from the consistory 
to make her understand that she must leave off her false 
hair. She begged him to allow M. de Roupeyroux, and 
other members of the court consistory present to bear 
witness to what he said to her and she to him. He told 
her that he had no authority to do this and she persisting 
and calling on M. de Roupeyroux, M. Berault pressed 
the matter no more and rose to go. Mile du Plessis 
said to him, " Sir, you should have spoken to M. du 
Plessis who is the head of this family." And so Messrs 
Berault and Bironier departed and an hour later the 
consistory of Montauban and that of the court met with 


the others who had sat in the previous meeting and it 
was immediately decided that tokens should be given to 
M. du Plessis for himself and his family. And since 
tokens had been granted it was also agreed that the 
family should be granted their due place. M. Berault 
and the whole consistory of Montauban came to see M. 
du Plessis who thereupon complained of their behaviour 
to him ; saying that " he thought it strange they should 
refuse him the sacrament without saying a word to 
him first. Indeed he thought their whole behaviour to 
his family strange ; his house stood open at all times to 
worthy people and they had all had opportunities to 
speak with him. Instead of doing so M. Berault had 
spoken to his wife in the open street as she came away 
from the sermon, admitting that he had purposely 
chosen this way of approaching her so that her husband 
might know nothing about it, which was a very unseemly 
and ill-considered proceeding. And then without a 
word further tokens had been refused to his whole 
family men as well as women, although thanks be to 
God, not one of them but was fully instructed in religion ; 
further, that when the consistory attached to the King's 
household had decided to admit his family to the sacra- 
ment, he, M. Berault, had forbidden M. Cahier to give 
them tokens. And so, before he, M. du Plessis, had heard 
a word from him all the court and the town were laughing 
at him, and his wife and household were debarred from 
the Lord's Supper to the great scandal of many worthy 
people and the great amusement of others of the contrary 
religion of all sorts who chanced to be in Montauban. 
Moreover, as the Assembly lately held in the town was 
on the eve of scattering the scandal would be carried 
all over France, all the more because his name was 
tolerably well known by God's grace. He consoled 
himself with the knowledge that his own and his family's 
mode of life was well known and he hoped the blame of 
the scandal would fall on others and not on himself. 
All the same he greatly regretted to see the minister and 


consistory of a well-known church involved in the 
blame." (Then he set forth his reason for bringing his 
family to Montauban that they might find peace, the 
welcome they had received in all other churches, the 
well-known propriety of their conduct, and although 
they had never changed their mode of life the happiness 
they had had to be an example wherever they were 
living. 1 ) " If Montauban," he continued, " was treated as 
the only Church it would be a repetition of the error of 
the Donatists. It had no claim to a separate discipline 
but should conform to the rest of the churches in France, 
and it was for M. Berault to bend his opinion to the 
decision of the national synod, of which he could not 
pretend ignorance, and not to hug himself in his own 
obstinate peculiarities against the advice of so many 
pious and sound members of the church at that time 
gathered together at Montauban. These had all con- 
demned his behaviour, particularly in the case of himself, 
his wife and his family. He would always govern his 
household according to the rules laid down by the churches 
but not by those of the church of Montauban if it thought 
itself above the others." He spoke to them in all kindness, 
but it hit him hard to be thus dragged into publicity and 
he told them plainly that he should have been ashamed 
to make such a fuss over a matter of indifference. A 
notorious schism had already arisen in M. Berault's 
church and what was worse, legal proceedings for damages 
had resulted, and, to the scandal of the church, and the 
hazarding of the whole system of ecclesiastical discipline, 
the case was to be heard in the court of the Parlement of 
Toulouse on the first possible day. He repeated again 
and again that for the true edification of the church 
complaints should not be made about hair if the head 
under it were safe. " And M. Berault must not fancy 
that he was the only Christian, the only pastor or the 
only wise man. . . ." And after this harangue M. 
Berault retired, making small answer. 

1 This passage is abridged as it is mainly repetition of previous statements 
on the subject. 


At the close of the Assembly the churches begged the 
King of Navarre to allow M. du Plessis to accompany 
M. de Laval to lay their grievances before the King. 
The King of Navarre demurred on account of M. du 
Plessis' position in his household, but being pressed he 
yielded the point. M. du Plessis would gladly have been 
spared this journey for he was not well and needed leisure 
to attend to his health. He had worked very hard all 
through the Assembly ; his family had come south in 
the hot weather and he had meant to ask for a month 
or six weeks' leave to look about for a suitable place to 
settle in for the winter. But without regard to his 
wishes the journey was decided on. He left Mile du 
Plessis ill with a severe chill which kept her in bed for a 
fortnight before his departure. Smallpox had just 
begun to show in two of his little children which filled / 
him with the greatest alarm, for one of his lacqueys had 
died of it a week before. At length recommending his 
family to God's care he set out for Blois. Whilst he was 
away Mile du Plessis hardly stirred from bed or her room 
and kept her head so muffled up that her hair could give 
no scandal. If she did venture out one day to hear a 
sermon she spent the following eight in bed. But in 
spite of the trouble she was in both on account of M. du 
Plessis' absence and of her own and her children's illnesses 
not one of the three ministers of Montauban came to 
see her, although she purposely complained of their 
neglect in such a way that they should hear of it. 

A month before the Christmas Communion, as the 
custom is, a catechism was held in each town ward, 
when all those who were about to partake the Lord's 
Supper were catechized and their medals given them at 
the close of the meeting. M. Berault came to the house 
where Mile du Plessis lodged to hold a catechism. Hear- 
ing this Mile du Plessis, although still ill, rose from her 
bed so that her household might share in the benefits 
of the instruction and came into the hall where some fifty 
or sixty persons were already assembled, these being all 


those eligible in the ward. She wore her night-cap and 
her head was covered up with a black kerchief ; her 
family were all dressed very soberly ; she went in with 
her children, her women and her men-servants and yet 
M. Berault turned them all out. It appeared that he 
did this, as she heard afterwards, because of the complaint 
she had made to the first consistory. But he turned her 
men-servants out as well as the women, although the 
rules about hair could not have applied to them ; and her 
whole household were greatly annoyed because of the 
scandal it gave to the assembled company. In conse- 
quence of this action on the part of M. Berault Mile du 
Plessis wrote the following remonstrance to the consistory 
with her own hand : 

" The members of the consistory are informed that on 
Friday last the members of the town ward were assembled 
at the house of Mile de Bonencontre, our hostess, to share 
in the customary catechism. And as wherever there is 
a church and an assembly of the faithful our family ought 
to be present as members of the body of the church 
whereof Jesus Christ is the head, I rose from my bed, ill 
though I was, and came to the place where the catechism 
was being held, together with our whole family, men and 
women, all of whom were members of our religion and 
communicants of the Holy Sacrament. This I did for 
the following reasons : First, to claim our membership 
in the church of Christ : secondly, to receive instruction ; 
thirdly, with God's assistance, to serve for edification 
among those gathered together. 

" I know not why I was afflicted with the unhappiness 
of seeing all my family, men as well as women, turned 
away by M. Berault, who, for fear he might have to admit 
them to the Lord's Supper, interrupted his discourse as 
soon as he thought he recognized members of M. du 
Plessis' household. Those that he was doubtful about 
he left, but the rest were turned away, so that I was 
deprived of the good I was entitled to get from the 
meeting in two points. First, because M. du Plessis' 


household, for which I am responsible in his absence, 
was turned away without knowing why (which I maintain 
M. Berault had no right to do because not having 
received us into the Church of God he cannot cast us 
out of it), and secondly, because instead of edifying the 
assembly, as we hoped, we were made a cause for scandal. 
I therefore beg the consistory to read my confession of 
faith which I have written down and which I hold in 
my heart and confess with my mouth ; and I beg them 
to judge whether there is anything which contravenes 
the faith of all Christian churches. I also beg to know 
whether they have heard anything to the discredit of 
M. du Plessis or myself or any of our household ; and 
finally whether they can or ought to debar us and our 
household from an assembly of the faithful or from 
the Holy Sacrament. 

" As M. du Plessis has been deeply offended by M. 
Berault, in the persons of myself and our household, 
during his absence, in as much as we were all turned away 
from the meeting held for the catechizing, I hereby cite 
M. Berault to submit to the judgment of the consistory 
which I ask them to give on the above-mentioned facts. 
I urge this all the more strongly because I find more of 
temper and ill will than of brotherly love in his conduct. 
Moreover, over this question of false hair I see quarrels 
arise and flourish in this church to the great scandal of 
all men, caused solely by the fact that M. Berault has not 
understood, or has not correctly reported the decision 
reached by the General Synod on the wearing of quin- 
quelets, which he takes to mean the use of brass wire 
in the hair. This was not the meaning attached to the 
term by the synod, which is proved by the difference 
between the reports of all the other churches present. 
This difference between them and the church here 
would seem like an attempt at assuming absolute authority 
and power (on the part of this church) regardless of the 
law of charity. I would ask the Assembly to read what 
M. Calvin says in his comment of the passage in the letter 


of St Paul to Timothy in which this matter is discussed. 
M. Calvin declares in his comment that the Apostle had 
in mind a reformation of manners rather than of clothes 
and was not troubling himself over little things. More- 
over he takes all power from the ministers and leaves it to 
the magistrates. 

" At the same time I declare that I have no wish to go 
against the discipline as settled by the whole body of 
churches in France, whose object is to honour God and 
set a good example to our neighbour. I therefore call on 
the consistory to judge whether they have ever seen any 
immodesty in my clothes or in my manners or in those of 
my household, such as would authorize our exclusion from 
the church and the sacraments. And for the reason I have 
given above I decline to admit M. Berault to be my judge." 

Here follows the confession of faith which Mile du 
Plessis laid before the consistory. 

" I believe in one God and one Essence, l all wise, all good, all 
just, all powerful, who made heaven and earth, who is manifest 
to us in the old and new testaments. I believe that there are three 
Persons and one essence : the Father who is the beginning and 
origin of all things : the Son who is the eternal wisdom : the 
Holy Ghost who is eternal virtue and power proceeding from the 
Father and the Son : three Persons not confounded but distinct, 
not divided but of one essence, one eternity, one omnipotence. 

" I believe that God in three persons by His power, wisdom 
and goodness created heaven and earth and all that in them is ; 
also that, according to His word He governs all things and has a 
peculiar care of His children whom He cherishes for Jesus Christ 
His Son's sake. 

" I believe that the first man, whom God created in His own 
image, fell from grace by disobedience and sin and is wholly cut 
off from God. I believe that all the offspring of Adam are par- 
takers in his sin so that we can only return to God through grace. 
For our spirit is blind, our hearts are depraved and our wills per- 
verted, but God, out of His loving kindness, saves those whom He 
has chosen from the general corruption and damnation of all man- 
kind, through the eternal wisdom of Jesus Christ His Son, without 
consideration of works and solely through His mercy. 

1 Essence,' lot Substance, was used in the French confession of faith. 


" I believe that all we need for salvation is given us through 
Jesus Christ : that He, being the wisdom of God and His eternal 
Son, took on our flesh to be both God and man, like unto us save 
only for sin ; that by the eternal virtue of the Spirit He was con- 
ceived in the Virgin's womb of the seed of David according to the 
flesh ; that in His person two natures are joined together and yet, 
notwithstanding, the divine nature remains, uncreated, infinite 
and all pervading while the human nature remains finite, created 
with form, measure and attributes ; and although Jesus Christ 
in His resurrection endowed His body with immortality yet its 
nature was not thereby altered. 

" I believe that God, by sending His Son, chose to show us 
His inestimable loving kindness by delivering Himself over to 
death for our sins and rising again from the dead for our justifica- 
tion : and that by the single sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ upon 
the cross we are reconciled to Him and become acceptable to 
Him, so that in Jesus Christ we have wisdom, righteousness, 
justification and redemption by His death upon the cross. We 
have entire satisfaction and all our righteousness is founded on 
the free remission of our sins. It is this which gives us liberty to 
call on God through Jesus Christ, His Son and our mediator, in 
full confidence that God is our Father. 

" I believe that the righteousness of Christ is given to us through 
faith, which illuminates us by the secret working of the Holy 
Spirit, so that it is a gift and a peculiar grace given by God to those 
whom Jesus Christ accepts. By this faith we are born again into 
a new hfe, for by nature we are subjected to sin. Through it we 
are filled with the desire to obey and serve God according to His 
will, as made known to us by His word, to which nothing should 
be added, nor anything taken away. I believe that God gave His 
law unto Moses as the sole rule for the worship, love and reverence 
which we owe to God as well as for the duty and love which we 
owe to all men who are our neighbours. I believe that Jesus 
Christ is our sole advocate and mediator and that in His name we 
can boldly pray to God and ask Him for all things needful, even 
as He taught us to call on God the Father in His name saying, 
' Our Father which art in Heaven '. I believe that all our 
prayers should be likened unto this. 

I believe that all the faithful ought to watch over and maintain 
the unity of the Church, and that wherever there is a gathering 
in God's name each one should join it ; those who keep aloof 
separate themselves from the union of Christ. I believe that the 
Church is the whole company of the faithful who bind themselves 
to keep God's Word as written in the Old and New Testaments ; 



who strive to live in the fear of God and profit by it day by day ; 
that the Church administers the Holy Sacraments as ordained by 
God for the confirmation of our faith and the strengthening of 
our weakness ; which sacraments are outward and visible signs of 
God's care by means of His Holy Spirit, which never speaks to 
us in them in vain. At the same time their substance and reality 
are founded in Christ and apart from Him they are but vain 

" I believe that there are two sacraments ordained of God 
and established and in use in the Church ; baptism, which is a 
sign of our adoption and acceptance into the body of Jesus Christ, 
so as to be washed and cleansed by His blood and renewed in 
holiness of life by the Holy Spirit. And the Lord's Supper, 
which signifies not only that Jesus Christ died and rose again for 
us but that He verily nourishes us with His body and blood, so 
that we may be one with Him and live in Him and thus, through 
the secret virtue of the Holy Ghost, He may nourish and quicken 
us spiritually with the substance of His body and blood. Which 
things can be understood only by faith. Albeit I believe that God 
gives us in baptism and in the Lord's Supper, in very truth and 
deed, those things which He signifies in them. 

" I believe that every believer, before he comes to the Lord's 
table, should examine himself, search out his faith, and repent of 
his sins with a desire to amend his evil life and to be in charity 
with his neighbour. I believe that the rule and discipline as 
established by our Lord should be observed in the Church : which 
is that there should be pastors and men of sober life in charge of 
the Church so that pure doctrine may flourish, vice be repressed 
and punished and the poor and others be comforted. I believe 
that all true pastors, wherever they be, have an equal power, that 
no church can claim to dominate any other, that all are under one 
sovereign lord and one universal bishop, our Lord Jesus Christ. 
In the matter of kings, and of princes and magistrates set over us 
by kings, I believe we should obey them, provided that their 
commands are in no ways contrary to our duty to God and the 
love we owe to our neighbour, for in such matters God must be 
obeyed before men. 

" I believe that in the Church all things indifferent should be 
governed by the rule of charity, and that in the observance of 
regulations, which have not yet been received as part of the 
discipline of the Church, censure and excommunication should be 
charily used, since everything in the Church should tend to the 
glory of God and the edification of our neighbour. Those to 
whom God has given abundantly of His grace ought to give an 


example of charity in sustaining the feeble, recognizing that we 
should never confound our neighbour for whom Christ died. 
Those who join the company of the faithful for the purpose of 
receiving instruction and confirmation of their faith should never 
be turned away. If after confessing their faith they are not found 
in error, and if there is no evidence of scandal against them, but 
on the contrary they are found to be of modest behaviour, they 
should be admitted to the Sacrament. To act otherwise lightly 
and with obstinacy is mere tyranny in the Church. 

" I believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again 
for our justification and is ascended into Heaven in our name to 
open its doors to us and to be our Intercessor and Advocate. I 
believe He will return to judge the quick and the dead in like 
manner as he was seen to ascend. I believe that Jesus Christ will 
not come except to save His elect so that I have full assurance of 
salvation since my advocate is my judge, and hence I believe that 
I shall be filled with a felicity which eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard, nor the heart of man conceived. 

" This is the substance of my faith in the which I pray God, for 
Jesus Christ's sake and by virtue of the Holy Ghost, I may live and 
die and hold fast to the last breath of my body and the last drop 
of my blood." 

The above testimony of faith was sent to the consistory 
and read aloud to the whole company. M. Bironier, 
the minister, and M. le Clerc, an elder, were deputed to 
go to Mile du Plessis' lodgings and assure her that her 
faith had never been called in question, but that she 
would not be admitted to the Lord's Supper unless she 
discarded her wig. She begged them to pronounce a 
judgment on what she had written and had required of 
them. A week passed and then another at the end of 
which Mile du Plessis wrote again begging to know 
whether she would be admitted to the sacrament. M. 
Bironier and another elder were once more sent to her to 
declare that she could not be admitted wearing a wig 
but as for her men-servants they might present them- 
selves for catechism and be admitted. Without a 
moment's delay she wrote the following paper and sent it 
to the consistory. 

" Upon the declaration of the members of the con- 


, sistory that they cannot admit me until I have discarded 
my wig I ask them to point out the article in which the 
disuse of false hair is ordered by the National Synod, 
offering to submit so soon as they show me the rule as 
laid down and particularized. Otherwise I must inform 
them that at the last sacrament, when a great number of 
ministers were assembled at Montauban, it was agreed 
that I was to be admitted in my usual attire, on the 
grounds that neither in my hair nor my dress did I show 
any immodesty. Now that M. du Plessis is away, as 
every one knows, on the service of the churches, I cannot 
alter my mode of dress without his knowledge and 
approval. If, however, they persist during his absence 
in refusing me admittance to the sacrament I hereby 
declare that I shall appeal to the National Synod." 

A week later Mile du Plessis seeing the sacrament 
drawing near decided to send a declaration to the con- 
sistory. M. Berault presided at it. His reply was that 
he could receive no more communications in writing but 
that if she had something to say to them she must come 
before them in person. Directly she knew their wishes 
she appeared before them and read aloud the following 
paper, which was the same as she had already sent to them. 
In consequence of the message sent to me last Wed- 
nesday by the members of the consistory that I should 
not be admitted to communion unless I removed my 
hair, or rather the brass wire which is in it, I make the 
following demand, viz., that I should be shown the 
express article, as determined and put into writing by 
the National Synod, in which this matter is particularized 
and set out so that I may have the pleasure of obeying it, 
declaring once again that if you can show me this article 
I shall immediately conform to it in accordance with my 
desire to submit myself to the Church's discipline. 
And I beg the whole company of the consistory and each 
member of it in particular, in God's name and in the 
name of the charity we all owe to one another to show me 
this article on which some of you formed your action 


and which is so far unknown to me. In default of 
showing it to me I plead M. du Plessis' absence, now 
away on the service of the churches, without whose 
commands I am not at liberty to make a change in my 
attire. For the whole question was discussed and settled 
by him at the last Sacrament day and I was admitted to 
communion by the advice of many worthy men. I beg 
to remind the members of the consistory of the duty 
wives owe to their husbands to whom, by God's express 
commandment, their will is subjected. And also how 
Saint Peter expounds in the third chapter of his first 
epistle what that duty is. You cite this chapter against 
braiding the hair while all the time, gentlemen, you cannot 
be ignorant, as plainly appears in the text, that the chief 
aim of the apostle is to admonish wives to be submissive 
to their husbands, even infidel husbands. All the more 
am I bound to obedience seeing that M. du Plessis pro- 
fesses the same faith as we all do, and, moreover, is 
endowed with many gifts which he employs daily in the 
service of the churches. And since, notwithstanding my 
request to be shown the above-mentioned article of the 
National Synod, and regardless of my petition to wait 
until M. du Plessis makes his will known you persist in 
excluding me from the Lord's Supper, I do hereby 
declare that I appeal to the National Synod, and you are 
bound to admit me as an appellant (pending the decision 
of the National Synod). I must request you to say 
without delay whether, having regard to my appeal, you 
intend to let the whole procedure remain in suspension 
until such time as the National Synod shall declare its 
will, and in the meantime whether you will receive me 
and my whole family to communion, to this end catechiz- 
ing us and giving us our tokens. For there can be no 
disobedience in me where no command has been given. 
But should I have the unhappiness to have my just plea 
refused by you and if, ignoring my appeal, you exclude 
me from your communion I solemnly tell you I shall be 
deeply grieved and most miserable. I shall suffer in 


patience as a chastisement sent me by God to try me, 
who perchance makes use of me to bring order out of 

" I declare to you that by God's grace I hope to go 
where I can share in the Lord's Supper and partake of 
the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in a church and in 
the company of the faithful where God is worshipped 
and our neighbour is edified. Nevertheless, I do not 
forget the commandment given us, ' therefore if thou 
bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that 
thy brother hath aught against thee. Leave there thy 
gift before the altar . . . and first be reconciled with thy 
brother.' Therefore, for fear lest some of you should 
misinterpret my behaviour as resulting either from dis- 
obedience or from loving vanity more than communion 
with our Lord Jesus Christ and thereby entertain a bad 
opinion of me, I protest before God, to whom I appeal as 
my witness, that I hold the dressing of my hair an in- 
different matter. If I believed as do some that this 
command is of God I should not hesitate to obey nor 
await a decision by the National Synod. But on account 
of the dissensions which have arisen in this church I have 
most carefully searched the Scriptures all through and 
have found no clear commandment on the matter and, 
beyond the holy advice of Paul to Timothy on braided 
tresses and gold and pearls or costly array and that of 
St Peter on the plaiting of hair and wearing adornments 
of gold and the putting on of apparel, I have found no 
mention in Holy Writ of discarding hair except where 
gold, pearls and other articles of dress are also included. 
And yet a fortnight ago M. Berault preached that gold 
and precious stones were created by God and were matters 
of indifference, whose use for adornment was permissible 
provided that a proper regard for rank, station in life and 
calling was observed. This confirms me in my opinion 
that hair is also indifferent considering that there is no 
mention in the Scriptures of wearing gilt wire, which is the 
real point of dispute and cause of schism in this church. 


" It is a very mischievous thing for human counsel, 
however good and holy, to be put in the place of God's 
commandments as has been too much done by the Roman 
Church. This is indeed my chief reason for wishing 
that this dispute should be settled for the sake of peace 
and quiet in the churches. Because if, as you affirm, 
the commandment is of God, not only the church of 
Montauban, but all the other churches as well should 
obey it, and will grievously sin if they fail in its observance. 
On the other hand if it is an indifferent matter the pastor 
may admonish and reprove for edification but I do not 
believe that particular churches can, on their own 
authority, cut off members of Christ, for whom He died, 
from the body of the church ; cut them off, I repeat, 
neither from the church nor from the blessed sacraments 
unless a Synod, national and not merely provincial, has 
so ordained for the glory of God and the edification 
of our neighbour, after ripe consideration. In such a 
case people would not be debarred from communion for 
matters of indifference but because they set up sects 
apart and broke the unity of the church. Questions of 
discipline should be held in a different degree of respect 
to the laws of God which every one, without exception, 
is bound to obey. These, gentlemen, are my views on 
the subject in dispute, and I pray you to uphold me and 
not to take umbrage at my words nor think ill of me. 
And if, by chance, any one of you is especially offended 
with me, remember that we are all prone to error and 
need God's pardon daily for our wrongdoing. And now 
that you have this full and ample declaration from me I 
beg you, in God's name, to see that M. Berault does not 
in future publicly preach against the faults of which he 
says I am guilty, so that I am not made a cause for 
scandal to the congregation to whom I cannot explain 
my conduct as I can to you. Furthermore, gentlemen, 
since we are all mortal and have no sure morrow, if it 
should be God's will to take me from this world before 
the dispute is settled I fear the affair will never be properly 


understood ; I therefore beg you to keep in safe custody 
for future reference, first, my complaint against M. 
Berault in your consistory, and the judgment I required 
of you ; secondly, my confession of faith ; thirdly, my 
appeal which I should wish you to produce at the National 
Synod ; fourthly, this present declaration and petition. 
All these documents are written and signed with my own 
hand and I have kept copies of them. These I offer to 
collate with the originals sent to you as I intend to use 
them in my appeal to the National Synod. I hope this 
will be received in the same loving kindness with which 
I offer it and I pray God that He will pour down His 
Holy Spirit on us for Christ's sake, so that we may labour 
for His glory and for the edification of His church. 

" Gentlemen, I forgot to mention that if M. du Plessis 
and I had found the rule generally accepted when we 
first came to Montauban we should have been extremely 
loth to cause dissension in this church. I am certain 
that my husband would have wished me to conform and 
I should have agreed with him. But the truth was, we 
found the split already made so that certain people 
finding themselves debarred from communion without 
as they alleged being heard in their own defence, appealed 
to the magistrates of Toulouse. You cannot be ignorant 
how detrimental such a course must be to our religion 
nor how greatly all sober people deplored it. And even 
if the affair had been confined within our own town I 
still saw another most regrettable result both here and in 
the vicinity. Altar was opposed to altar either because 
the nobility would not condescend to observe your rules, 
or because you, the ministers, were not in agreement 
among yourselves, which seemed to point to the lack of 
any clear commandment on the part of the synod. It 
was therefore obvious that even if I discarded my wig 
the difficulty would be in no way lessened. And as I 
could not heal the schism by any compliance on my own 
part with a rule made neither by God nor the synod 
I did not feel called upon to obey you. Gentlemen, some 


of you, knowing how little I care how I dress my hair, 
may think I have been solicited by others to take up their 
cause. I therefore declare, before God whom I call in 
witness, who knows the hearts of men and judges their 
inmost thoughts, that I have been solicited by no one. 
My only motives are those already laid before you. I 
submit everything to M. du Plessis and my sole desire 
is that you should understand my position to your own 
enlightenment and the tranquillity of your consciences as 
well as to take from you any reason to think evil of 

" Written on Wednesday the 9th April 1584." 
Having read the above declaration Mile du Plessis left 
on the Friday before Sacrament Day, accompanied by all 
those of her household who were eligible to partake the 
Lord's Supper, and went to Villemeux three leagues 
beyond Montauban which belongs to the same colloquy. 
She explained everything that had passed at Montauban 
to M. l'Hardy, the minister, and to several of the Elders 
who came to call on her and was admitted to communion. 
The whole affair was then referred to the .National Synod 
which was to be held at Montpellier in the following 
month of May, which may God illuminate with His 
Holy Spirit. 


The War of the League 

M. du Plessis was still in Paris at the end of 1584. He 
had just entered into his 35th year, and, thinking how 
uncertain all human life was and that his own, more than 
most, was never free from danger he made his will. He 
wrote it with his own hand and had it signed by two 
notaries. He did this more for the instruction of our 
children than for any other reason because he left their 
upbringing and the management of their property 
entirely in my hands. About this same time he wrote 
his meditations of the 6th, the 32nd and the 34th psalms. 
That on the 25th was written later at Montauban just at 
the beginning of the war of the League. 

At the new year, 1585, he returned to the court of 
Navarre after concluding his negotiation with the King 
at Paris. 1 He found the King of Navarre at Sainte Foi 
and all the most important protestants with him, waiting 
to hear what news he brought. He laid the whole result 
before them and his success filled them with the greatest 
joy. Meantime M. de Laval had gone straight home 
and had left M. du Plessis to make the report of their 
joint mission. M. du Plessis, on his own initiative, told 
them bluntly that they must not rest contented with 
what he told them because war was certain to break out 
again in a fresh place, for the Lorraine people were on the 
very point of exploding and that they could not look out 
for their own safety too soon. He particularly urged 
His Majesty not to purchase La Ferte from the Vidame, 
as the late M. de Segur had advised, urging that it 

1 See p. 195, for negotiation carried on by M. de Laval and M. du Plessis. 



would be wiser to send the money to Germany to hire 
mercenaries. The King, however, would not listen to 
him. M. de Turenne was at Court, lately returned from 
captivity in the Low Countries. During his absence in 
Paris certain malicious people had done M. du Plessis a 
very ill turn, for they had contrived to get the King of 
Navarre to appoint M. de Turenne as chief controller of 
the King's household over both him and M. de Clervant. 
M. du Plessis' answer to this move was as follows : " That 
he would be only too sorry to be the occasion for the 
King of Navarre to lose the services of so valuable a 
servant as M. de Turenne, or even to cause him discon- 
tent in any way, so that he was perfectly willing to resign 
his office. At the same time he must say quite plainly 
that he would rather have no appointment at all than 
continue in one with diminished dignity and authority ; 
at the same time if others were appointed as their com- 
panions and equals he and M. de Clervant would welcome 
them as so many more witnesses of their honest dealing." 
On hearing which His Majesty did no more in the matter. 
Later on M. de Turenne himself saw how unwise the 
scheme had been and valued M. du Plessis' friendship 
higher than that of its originators. 

And so now we come to th e war of the League , which 
started at the end of March 1585, and whose end will 
come in God's good pleasure. I never saw M. du 
Plessis worried by this war, for his opinion never faltered 
that it would bring an increase of honour and reputation 
to our King ' now reigning. When the first news of the 
war reached the court of Navarre, the King asked M. du 
Plessis what his opinion was. M. du Plessis answered in 
these words, which he has often since recalled : " Thank 
God, Sire, that your enemies, and not you, have begun 
this war. It was certain to come and it is better that it 
should come in the present King's reign, than in yours, 
should you succeed him ; easier to bear while you are 
young than when you are old ; and if we labour we shall 

1 Henri IV, then King of Navarre. 


at least leave our children at rest. Your enemies take 
God's name in vain but vengeance is the Lord's. Much 
trouble lies before you but you will win through all, and 
no Prince ever emerged from a war with more glory than 
I am certain you will win in this if you continue in the 
fear of the Lord. As for my part I vow that nothing 
will be too hot or too cold that you bid me do in your 
service." The King has often since borne witness that 
this vow was faithfully kept. 

It looked at first as if the King (of France) meant to 
gather his forces against the League, although M. du 
Plessis expected their attack would soon be turned 
against the protestants. This, however, they would not 
be in a position to do until four or five months had 
elapsed. In the meantime the King of Navarre's policy 
was to unite his supporters and munition the towns as 
quietly as he could for in point of fact they were all so 
destitute of stores of corn owing to the treaties of peace, 
that before harvest any one of them might have been 
taken by famine without difficulty. The League justified 
their action partly on the ground that they were safe- 
guarding the public welfare, and partly that they were 
opposing the reformed religion and they scattered their 
writings broadcast to this effect. In reply M. du Plessis 
undertook to plead with all Frenchmen in a paper which 
bore good fruit. But when it became apparent that the 
storm was about to burst on the King of Navarre and the 
protestants, M. du Plessis was bidden to draw up a 
statement 1 to inform all Europe of the justice of the said 
King's cause, and of the wrong done him. It is in this 
paper that the offer was made, provided the King (of 
France) would hold the stakes, to punish the insolence of 
the Lorrainers, or rather, the better to spare the poor 
people of France, to meet them man to man, ten against 
ten or twenty against twenty as they chose, and in any 
place ordered by the King. This defiance, written with 
the King of Navarre's own hand, was read in full Council 

1 "Declaration du Roi de Navarre contre les Calomnies de la Ligue." 
See Letters of de Mornay, ed. 1824. 


and was forthwith sent to all Christian Princes, to the 
great honour of the aforesaid King. But not one of 
the Houses of Lorraine and Guise made any reply. When 
this offer of a duel was first broached M. du Plessis was 
told to put it into words but he only consented to do so 
on condition that, if the offer were accepted, he should 
be among the chosen champions. And to this request 
the King very readily agreed. 

It would take too long to give particulars of all his 
writings during the ensuing war, for he never let an 
occasion go by when he thought he could serve the 
cause of France, of the churches and of his master. 
There are several whole volumes of these writings, and 
especially of foreign dispatches and manifestos to the 
public, which nearly all came from his pen. I remember 
one in particular, drawn up in accordance with his firm 
conviction, that whatever edicts of union between the 
King and the Guises might be published there never 
would be real agreement between them ; and this being 
so their attacks would be ill-consorted and feeble, which 
opinion was not only shown to be true throughout the 
whole course of the war but was finally proved by the 
death of the Duke of Guise. 

M. du Plessis had made a plan for an attack on Toulouse, 
but before proposing it to the King of Navarre he wanted 
to reconnoitre the place himself, a matter which proved 
very hazardous. One evening he rode to within a league 
of the town with ten horse but all unarmed when, passing 
through a little place called St Geniz, the villagers took 
the alarm and he had scarcely time to reach the further 
gate before they attacked him. Further on at a house, 
in which he expected to shelter, he found that M. de 
Verdale, colonel of the Due de Joyeuse's l infantry, had 
already taken possession, so he had to pass it by. The 
people of St Geniz had set the beacon on the belfry 
alight so that the whole countryside was up, bugles 

1 Anne de Joyeuse, 1561-1587 ; one of Henri Ill's favourites ; m. 
Marguerite de Lorraine, the queen's sister ; killed at the battle of Coutras. 


blowing and roads blocked on every side. Not being 
able to do any reconnoitring that night he managed to 
reach Foix instead, where he was very well received by 
M. de Benergue, son of the late President de Mansencal, 
who, although he did not know him, welcomed him on the 
faith of one of his company. On the morrow he re- 
crossed the Garonne above Toulouse, and rode by the 
islands to the various spots which he wanted to spy out. 
He got so close to them that by the light of the full moon 
he could see everything quite plainly, and could report to 
the King of Navarre that his scheme was perfectly 
feasible. He drew up a plan which he gave to His Majesty, 
who promised that M. du Plessis should command the 
first 500 soldiers to enter Toulouse. The infantry 
however were so constantly occupied elsewhere with the 
defence of so many and of such scattered places that His 
Majesty could never carry out this plan. 

At the beginning of the year 1586, the Duke of Mayenne 
came into Guienne with an army which rumour said was 
formidable. The King of Navarre, who was at Caumont 
sur Garonne, sent for all the chief nobles and captains 
of that part of the country. M. de Turenne was charged 
with the defence of the Dordogne, a task in which he 
acquired a great reputation both for courage and prudence. 
It was not certain whether the Duke of Mayenne meant 
to cross the Dordogne near Souillac, on his way into 
Quercy, and so the King of Navarre, who wanted to be 
ready whatever happened, sent M. du Plessis to Mon- 
tauban to be on the watch. At the same time he was 
left almost without troops, for all the best were posted 
on those parts of the frontier which seemed most likely 
to be attacked. In spite of all precautions the Duke of 
Mayenne crossed the river at Souillac and marched into 
Upper Quercy, where the protestants had barely time 
to bring up enough arms of all sorts to secure Figeac, 
Caviac and Cardillac, all of which towns would certainly 
have fallen if the enemy had known the state they were 
in and had shown the smallest perseverance in attacking 


them. One thing following on another M. du Plessis 
stayed on at Montauban, where I and our household 
were living, for fifteen months. During this time, 
without going into details, the fortifications of the new 
town were finished at his earnest request, the* Bourbon 
town was put into a state of defence and rebuilt, and the 
suburb of the Tarn was brought within the walls. 
Several times he took the town's cannon beyond the walls 
to clear out the wretched little fortresses which kept 
Montauban in subjection and he always met with success 
and sometimes with God's special favour. Three times 
over he revictualled the town of Le Maz du Verdun with 
every sort of food and ammunition. He crossed into 
Gascony and rousing M. de Fontrailles, who was in 
command of Armagnac, together they saved the town of 
L'Isle en Jourdain, which was blockaded with nine forts, 
and which had food for only six days left ; thence he 
quickly recrossed to Montauban and threw himself just 
in time into Villemur, where M. de Reniez was in com- 
mand. This place was not thought to be capable of 
defence and was not fortified, but with the help of Messrs 
de Savaillan and de Suz and a number of other gentlemen 
they checked the successful march of the Duke of Joyeuse, 
whose army was menacing the place but a short way off. 
From Villemur he did his best to save Salvaignac and 
every one knows he would have succeeded if the least 
help had been given him. One particular I will mention 
concerning this affair of Villemur. The King of Navarre, 
thinking his actions inexplicable sent him word that 
" while he praised his good heart he could not help 
blaming him for wasting it on so worthless an object as 
Villemur." In spite of all that his friends could say to 
dissuade him he maintained that this place, worthless 
though it were, was yet the link between Languedoc and 
Guienne, which two provinces, were it lost, would be 
left without any means of communication and that this 
being so it was as well that someone should lose himself 
in saving it. During his stay at Villemur he also dis- 


covered a plot against Montauban hatched by two 
brothers, M. de Claux and M. de Bresolles, nephews of 
M. de Tarride, Governor of Montauban, and whose 
house was only a league outside that town. This plot 
was proved by letters written by the two brothers to 
M. de Mayenne, to the Seneschal of Toulouse and to 
others, and there was every probability that it would have 
succeeded for M. de Tarride had such absolute confidence 
in his nephews. All these affairs won him a great 
reputation but they also aroused a great deal of jealousy 
and this all the more because everywhere people appealed 
to him. Leaving Villemur he went into Gascony to 
relieve Leyrac which the Marshal de Matignon 1 was 
threatening, and he succeeded in entering it with rein- 
forcements. Thence, all fear of a siege blowing over, he 
went on to N£rac. There I and all our family joined 
him. I obtained a passport from the Marshal de Matig- 
non, who moreover received me very kindly as we passed 
through Agen. This was at the beginning of 1587 and 
it was just about the same time that M. de Turenne also 
came to Nerac. M. du Plessis was able to be of great use 
to M. de Turenne and with an excellent result. Un- 
happily this was brought to an end by a shot from an 
arquebus which wounded M. de Turenne at the fort of 
Nicole sur Garonne just as he was coming back from a 
round to see how the watch was kept and while M. du 
Plessis was actually speaking with him. 

During our time at Montauban God gave us a daughter 
who only lived three months. We had asked M. de 
Chatillon to be her godfather but as he was detained in 
Rouergue defending it against the Duke of Joyeuse he 
could not come. M. Antoine de Chardien, generally 
known as M. Sadeil, a gentleman of Dauphine and a 
most worthy minister of God held the child as his proxy ; 
her godmother was Suzanne de Pas, my daughter by my 
first marriage. We buried the child at Montauban. 

1 Jacques de Goyon de Matignon, 1525-1597, Marshal of France, Lieuten- 
ant-General of Guienne ; recognized Henri de Navarre on death of Henri III. 


The King of Navarre sent for M. du Plessis to come to 
him at la Rochelle. This he was willing to do and all 
the more readily because he foresaw the necessity for 
making preparations to meet the said King's foreign 
troops. So at the end of June he set out and on the way 
had the good luck to raise the siege of Linde sur Dordogne, 
which the Pengord nobles were besieging. Accompanied 
by a few friends he presently reached the King of Navarre 
and afterwards never left him throughout the rest of the 
war, nor was there any deed or exploit up to his master's 
accession to the throne of France in which he did not 
play his part. The King even did him the honour to 
say more than once that he had discussed his most impor- 
tant undertakings with him alone and that he had always 
found his advice good. M. du Plessis on his arrival 
found the King of Navarre deeply involved in the war 
with the Duke of Joyeuse, who since his return to the 
French court from Rouergue and Albig^ois had been 
dispatched into Poitou with a fresh army. There he had 
obtained several noteworthy advantages over the King of 
Navarre by the capture of St Maixant, Maillezay and 
other places. The arrogance of the Duke had grown to 
such a pitch in consequence that, as was proved by letters 
between him and others which M. du Plessis intercepted 
and deciphered himself, he aimed at nothing less than 
making himself chief of the League. As he was on the 
point of returning to Court it was anticipated that his 
army would scatter as soon as he departed and His Majesty 
therefore determined to follow hard on his heels. This 
move met with complete success. For although it was 
contrary to the advice of almost every one (who not 
daring to blame the master fell upon his servant), the 
King of Navarre defeated several companies of the 
Duke's army, captured M. de Joyeuse's own cornet near 
to Chinon, blockaded M. de Lavardin and the army under 
him in La Haye in Touraine, opened a passage across the 
Loire at Monsoreau which enabled the Count of Soissons 
and the troops of Normandy and Beauce to cross the 



river, and all this achieved with no larger force than two 
hundred horse and three hundred foot-soldiers. It 
should be noted that they who reaped the glory for this 
drive were the very same who had most strongly advised 
against it. This first piece of good fortune brought 
about a second for the Duke of Joyeuse, bent on revenge, 
determined to give the King of Navarre battle at no 
matter what cost. The battle of Coutra s, fought on the 
20th of October 1587, was the result, when a compl ete 
victory was won by the said King. M. du Plessis had 
the honour of fighting at his side. He noted that on 
this very day twelve years before (making allowance that 
is for the ten days deducted by the Pope) he had been 
made prisoner at Dormans. I have seen several letters 
among his papers which he wrote from la Rochelle to 
friends both within and without the kingdom, in which he 
said that a battle would be fought within a week and that 
God would give them the victory. And I have often 
heard him say that on the morning his only fear was lest 
the Duke of Joyeuse would decline the battle, because 
then the King of Navarre would have been helpless 
between two rivers and two armies. His Majesty wrote 
to the King (of France) by M. de la Burte, maitre des 
requites, saying how deeply he deplored the shedding of 
so much blood and to beseech him to put a stop to it 
for the good of his kingdom ; but the times were not yet 
ripe and the King would not heed. 

M. du Plessis was ordered to write a short account of 
this battle. Owing to the omission of two lines in a 
copy made by M. du Pin, secretary of State, which was 
sent to La Rochelle, in which the Prince of Conde" was 
spoken of with all due honour and respect for his rank, 
the said Prince was highly offended and sent the bitterest 
complaint to the King of Navarre. The King took the 
matter up in the sharpest manner possible but M. du 
Plessis could show by his notes that the Prince had no 
complaint against him. M. du Plessis thought it strange 
that this victory was not better followed up. The 


truth is that the King of Navarre did propose that he 
should effect a union with his foreign troops, which would 
certainly have been the most fruitful result of the victory, 
but his army, gathered in haste, wanted a breathing 
space to go home, promising to gather again at Pe>igord 
in a month's time. So the King went to Beam to see 
his sister. On his return his advance was interrupted by 
the Marshal Matignon who had brought up his troops 
to the relief of Aire. It was this which made him summon 
M. du Plessis who was resting at Nerac in the bosom of 
his family. It was God's will that I should be seized 
with the pains of childbirth at the very moment when he 
was mounting at the head of his troops. I was delivered 
of a daughter two hours after he had ridden off. She 
was christened Sara but she only lived three months, 
and was buried at N^rac. Her godfather was M. de 
Bouquet, Lord of Brueil in Normandy (a cousin of M. du 
Plessis', descendant of a Mile de Mornay), a valiant 
gentleman, religious and learned ; her godmother was 
Dame Georgette de Montenay, also a cousin, widow of 
the late M. de St Germain in Gascony, a woman of high 
virtue, who has even written various things. 

On his return from B&rn towards the end of 1587 
news came to the King of Navarre of the defeat of his 
foreign troops, 1 which greatly troubled many of his 
adherents, especially those who had come to join him 
from north of the Loire. This made him go to 
Montauban to discuss what could best be done in the 
matter, thinking that he should meet the Prince of 
Conde - and M. de Montmorenci there. However, he 
failed to see them. Whilst there certain deputies 
demanded a general Assembly of all the Churches for 
the healing of this sore wound, to which the King of 
Navarre would not assent. However, M. du Plessis 
persuaded him on the grounds that such a disaster could 
be best met by such a remedy, which would tend to keep 
men steady in the path of duty who might otherwise 

1 Mercenaries raised in Germany and paid by the Queen of England. 


seek for personal and private relief. But in the end, 
owing to the dilatoriness of the provinces, the Assembly 
could not be held before the end of the following year. 
After taking two or three places His Majesty returned to 
Nerac. There he heard of the Prince's 1 death by 
poison. It was M. du Plessis who broke the news to him 
privately, adding " that a heavy loss had befallen him, 
and that though our arms and nerves might give us pain 
still they were arms and nerves, and that the Prince was 
always an arm even when he was most difficult, and that 
his loss was one nothing could make good." His 
Majesty received the news with infinite sorrow, and send- 
ing for the Comte de Soissons 2 to come to his private 
room, they wept a long time together. The King made 
ready that very day to ride to La Rochelle but they 
could not reach it before Marans had been captured by 
M. de Lavardin. M. du Plessis and a small company of 
friends followed the King on the next day. He found the 
Lady de la Tremoille, 3 the Prince's widow, had already 
been arrested as an accomplice in his murder. It was a 
very perplexing case, badly managed from the beginning 
and it gave M. du Plessis an immense amount of trouble 
before its end. 

This year passed by in various negotiations and enter- 
prises. Marans was retaken with no small measure of 
perseverance and courage, and the King confided to M. du 
Plessis all the preliminary reconnaissances and preparations 
necessary for the final success of the undertaking. The 
regiment of Gerzay was defeated by a great cavalry 
charge, three leagues from Nantes ; Beauvais sur Mer 
was besieged and captured in the finest way imaginable. 
This success was all the more important because M. du 
Plessis had already obtained the King's consent to his 
sailing down to St Nazare in Brittany and thereby con- 
trolling the only mouth of the river Loire which is 

1 Henri de Bourbon, Prince de Conde. He was reputed to be poisoned 
but without real proof, d. March 1588. 

2 Charles de Bourbon, half-brother to Henri, Prince de Conde. 

» Charlotte Catherine de la Tremoille, m. Prince de Conde 1586. 


navigable and which he planned to fortify with all speed. 
So as to assist the first successes in these parts he carried 
with him in the boat ready-made fortifications of bullet- 
proof palisades and supports. He had with him three 
hundred labourers, quantities of tools and food and 
munitions for three months. The Baron de Salignac 
and his regiment were to aid him and the King of Navarre 
gave M. du Plessis the Governorship of the country. 
But God, whose will was otherwise, showed His dis- 
pleasure with the project by preventing the boats from 
reaching the sea, and by making all landing impossible by 
the fury of the winds. The army under M. de Nevers ■ 
arriving in the vicinity finally forced M. du Plessis to 
make good his retreat. The wonders of God were, 
however, made manifest in a much greater way, for just 
when the King (of France) was making preparations to 
reap the benefit of the defeat of our foreign army the 
Duke of Guise drove him out of Paris on the Journ^e des 
Barricades. 1 And later when they had patched up their 
quarrel by the second Edict of Union and had summoned 
the Estates General to meet at Blois for the purpose of 
declaring the Edict to be the law of the land, just at the 
very moment when the Duke was writing out both his 
appointment as Constable and the King of Navarre's 
degradation as heir to the throne against the judgment 
of all men, the King had him killed in his own private 
room.* I had recently brought our household to La 
Rochelle, after a visit to Beam, whither I had gone to 
pay my respects to Madame, the King of Navarre's only 
sister, and also to benefit by the hot springs. I remember 
that several of M. du Plessis' friends urged him, some by 
word of mouth and some in letters to him, to write 
against this Assembly at Blois, protesting its nullity. 
Some were even angry because he declined to do so, and I 
remember quite well the answer he made to one and all, 

1 Louis de Gonzague, 1539-1595 ; Due de Nevers through his wife 
Henriette de Cleves, heiress of her brother. 

• May 1588. • December 1588. 


which can yet be seen among his papers. It was to this 
effect : that if anything good came out of the Assembly 
and our party had condemned it aforehand, no profit 
could accrue to us ; while if evil came, we being neither 
summoned nor heard, it could do us no harm ; and 
moreover the fact of omitting to summon the King of 
Navarre was in itself a cause of nullity ; and moreover if 
the attention of the Assembly were drawn to this fact 
and the King of Navarre were, in consequence, to be 
summoned it would do him less than no good. And to 
conclude they could see that he expected that something 
or other would happen in this Assembly which would 
glorify God and turn to the comfort of His Churches. 

A short time before the death of the Duke of Guise 
and almost at the same date as the opening of the Estates 
General at Blois the Assembly of the Churches was held 
at la Rochelle, in which the King of Navarre was helped 
in no small fashion by M. du Plessis against certain innova- 
tions which were threatened. These arose from the ill 
success of certain measures, principally the defeat of the 
foreign army, which made some people accuse the King 
of Navarre and talk of limiting his authority in the 
management of affairs. M. du Plessis was suffering 
from quaternion fever at the time but in spite of it he 
worked harder than ever. He was the more eager 
because he knew very well that those who hold office are 
always open to slander, for since the outbreak of the war 
the King had appointed him surintendant of the public 
revenue. So soon as the Assembly began to inquire 
into matters of finance M. du Plessis rose and begged 
His Majesty graciously to allow him to retire, and also to 
do him the honour to command all those present to 
speak their minds freely and frankly against him on the 
condition that he should be allowed to reply to their 
charges, and thereupon he left the hall. The result was 
that every one earnestly begged him to continue in office 
with undiminished authority. And on the subject of 
his salary instead of the 1 200 crowns a year with which 


he had been contented they allowed him 1600 and, more- 
over, made him Chief of the Council which was appointed 
to assist the King of Navarre in matters of Church and 
State. All of which was not done without arousing the 
spite and envy of certain people who had hoped to turn 
the Assembly against him. I can very truly say that he 
wanted nothing so much as to be relieved of this office, 
which was afterwards made clear enough. For the truth 
is that, as by nature he loves to make people happy, the 
office could bring nothing but worry in the depleted 
state of the exchequer. And as for his private affairs in 
fourteen years of service no one could accuse him of 
putting a penny into his own purse, paying a debt or 
buying so much as a foot of land. On the contrary every 
one marvelled how he could manage at all for when he 
took over the finances nothing came to the King of 
Navarre from Languedoc or Dauphin^, all Guienne 
above l'Isle was in M. de Turenne's hands, and as for the 
King's patrimony it had been entirely seized, so that 
Xaintonges and Poitou were the only sources of revenue 
and only the half of these were in his control, for he had 
nothing but the failles and certain profits which accrued 
from the ocean. And yet the King's household was kept 
up in its usual style : the officers were paid ; an extra- 
ordinary number of gentlemen were maintained ; the 
garrisons were never a day in arrears, neither were the 
mounted harquebusiers who formed the base of all the 
King's successful cavalry operations ; the artillery lacked 
for nothing and great sums of money were found for an 
incredible number of journeys, both within and without 
the Kingdom. 

The capture of Niort happily followed soon after in 
the same week as the death of the Duke of Guise. This 
capture was planned in private by the King of Navarre 
and M. du Plessis and the latter had charge of the 
scaling ladders. From thence the King went to the aid 
of Ganache which M. du Nevers was besieging. On his 
way he fell ill in a country house in Poitou called la Motte 


Freslon, which made it impossible to raise the siege as 
they had had every hope of doing. The illness was an 
attack of pleurisy which seized the King as he rode from 
Marueil to la Motte Freslon. He kept no one but M. du 
Plessis by him, who, in the absence of M. d'Ortoman, the 
King's most excellent doctor, undertook to bleed His 
Majesty. M. du Plessis did this with the more confidence 
because he had himself suffered three attacks of the same 
complaint, and the King felt relief from the treatment. 
His only consolation was found in the singing of the psalms 
and in sweet and comfortable words. His life was in 
danger and rumour even said he was dead. Whilst he 
lay ill the Queen Mother died at Blois a few days after 
the Duke of Guise's execution. 


Accession of Henri IV 

It was the opinion of many people that the deaths of the 
Duke of Guise and of the Queen Mother would put a 
stop to the civil war, but M. du Plessis did not agree. 
He explained his reasons in two letters which he wrote 
at La Rochelle to the King of Navarre, who was at St 
Jean d'Angely, and which he sent by the hand of M. de 
Frontenac, the bearer of the news of the Duke's death. 
Briefly he wrote as follows : " The King of Navarre 
ought to praise God, not so much because he was rid of 
a formidable enemy, as because this enemy's death stained 
neither his hand nor his conscience ; but that he must 
not look for peace as a result of this death because, with- 
out doubt, horror at the deed would rouse the nation and 
arm the Duke of Mayenne ; that for the next four 
months the King (of France) would not dare to appeal to 
him lest his devotion to Catholicism should seem less than 
before ; and that, finally, it was greatly to be hoped that 
the Duke of Mayenne would show a bold front so that 
the King might have the more reason and need for 
appealing for help." When the King of Navarre, 
fresh from hearing the joyful news, read this he exclaimed : 
" These are but cold words to write on such news." 
The people of La Rochelle talked of illuminating the 
town, but M. du Plessis was against it and would not 
allow it, saying that there was abundant reason for 
adoring the judgments of God but none for rejoicing, as 
it were, over a human sacrifice. Indeed he often regretted 
that the late King, being driven to meet conspiracy with 


violence, had not justified the necessity and justice of 
his deed before Christendom by bringing the Duke to a 
solemn trial. 

The Duke of Mayenne carried on the war against the 
King of France and several towns surrendered to him 
and everything conspired to show that no peace could be 
made between them. The King of Navarre went to 
La Rochelle and to free himself from all business he left 
M. du Plessis and his Council at Niort. Thither I went 
to meet my husband. That very same day, however, the 
King of Navarre sent for him in such urgent haste that 
he rode all night and reached the King at his levee. The 
King took him apart into a gallery and, saying that he 
would never decide on matters of real importance without 
consulting him, told him of several projected plans. 
One was for an attack on Brouage, another on Saintes, 
and he explained how these schemes could be carried out, 
adding that before he went any further he wanted M. du 
Plessis' advice. M. du Plessis replied that an attack on 
either Brouage or Saintes was a fine project and worthy 
of him, but that neither could be carried through in less 
than two months while France in the meantime would be 
perishing and helpless. The King of Navarre should 
rather turn his thoughts to her salvation and, according 
to his own belief, His Majesty ought to march on the 
Loire without loss of time and with the best equipment 
and troops he could muster. There was a project on foot 
against Saumur which, if it succeeded, would give him a 
passage across the Loire ; if it failed he must then seize 
all the towns on this side of the river so that the King (of 
France), feeling himself between two hostile forces and 
unable to withstand either, would make peace with the 
one he had least deeply offended, to wit with the King of 
Navarre. This advice so pleased the King of Navarre 
that he gave M. du Plessis his hand in pledge that he 
would follow it and that no one should turn him aside, 
for in truth all his council was against it, as various mem- 
bers have since confessed. This matter settled, the King 


of Navarre bade him ride back to Niort and to keep four 
cannon and their train in readiness. This M. du Plessis 
managed to do although he had to get the equipage 
together anyhow and change it after every day's march. 
I can truthfully say I never saw him put to greater trouble 
in his life. However, it was obvious that he must needs 
make a virtue of necessity. 

This march on the Loire succeeded so completely that 
France reaps the benefit of it to this very day. Learning 
on his way that the attempt on Saumur had failed he 
went straight on and, without so much as seeing the 
cannon, Loudun, CMtellerault, Monstreuil Bellay, L'Isle 
Bouchard, and Thouars opened their gates, and the King 
of Navarre and his army arrived within three leagues of 
Tours in perfect safety. There his forces and the King's 
drank from the same brook, drawn together by mutual 
need, and without asking any questions or waiting for 
any treaty. Between St Maure and Chatellerault M. de 
Buhy, M. du Plessis' elder brother, arrived under cover 
of paying his brother a visit with the permission of the 
King of France. When M. du Plessis heard of his 
brother's arrival he turned to the King, his master, 
saying, although he had no certain knowledge to go on, 
" Sire, give thanks to God. Everything is going right. 
My brother does not come to see me. He comes to 
treat with you on the King's behalf." Seeing that the 
treaty, which was in truth proposed by M. de Buhy, 
advanced but slowly, article by article, the King of 
Navarre let M. du Plessis know that it would be well for 
him to go and see the King himself and hasten matters. 
This was not an easy thing to do, considering all that had 
come and gone in the past ; but, putting his trust in the 
knowledge that he went for the good of France and for 
the salvation of the King and kingdom, M. du Plessis 
contrived to slip into Tours one evening without a 
passport. The King was extremely afraid lest the Nuncio 
should hear of it and therefore bade M. du Plessis to 
come to him at ten o'clock that night. He found the 


King much more ready to negotiate with the protestant 
party than he had ever been before, and he augured well 
from this. A few days later this mission resulted in a 
truce between the two Kings and the articles were 
published on April 1589. In accordance with these 
articles the town of Saumur was handed over to the 
King of Navarre, and with the consent of both Kings 
M. du Plessis was appointed to the command of the town 
as Lieutenant du Roi. The late King often declared that 
his high opinion of M. du Plessis and his certainty that 
his subjects would be treated well by him were not the 
least of the reasons which made him agree to the appoint- 
ment. The secret articles of the truce (the others are 
well known to every one) were as follows : That the 
protestants should not be subject to attack throughout 
the whole of France : that before the truce expired the 
King should make peace : that in the meantime protestant 
worship could be held anywhere in the King of Navarre's 
army, in any place where the said King might be and also 
in whatever town chosen for his passage across the Loire. 
This was to have been Pont de Ce" but as the Governor of 
that town made difficulties, Saumur had to be chosen 
instead, on the understanding that protestant worship 
was not to be held publicly for the first four months. 
This arrangement was scrupulously observed by M. du 
Plessis and no services were held during this stipulated 
period except in his own house. As for the other towns 
and the provinces it was agreed that in each baillage the 
King of Navarre might have one place selected where 
worship could be held provided that the said place 
acknowledged the King's authority and was neither the 
residence of a Bishop nor of a chef du Baillage. As for 
the ministers of the Gospel in those provinces in which 
the protestants had taken up arms the King agreed that 
their salaries should be continued at the rate of 200 crowns 
per annum, for all alike, to be paid out of the decimes des 
generalites in each province. There was great opposi- 
tion to this last clause because, as there were already 


charges on the decimes it was ordered that they should 
be paid twice over so as to meet both claims. 

It is inconceivable what difficulties arose during 
this negotiation. They can be studied in the letters 
which passed between the King of Navarre and M. du 
Plessis discussing every tiny detail. There were even 
some people who persuaded the King of Navarre that he 
was being tricked and that the whole negotiation was 
nothing but a court jest so that he was induced to treat 
with a certain Captain Pol, lieutenant to M. de Lessart, 
the Governor of Saumur, for the delivery of that town 
into his hands for the sum of eight thousand crowns. 
This Captain Pol was really plotting to seize the King of 
Navarre and his followers under the pretence of dealing 
honestly with him, and the plot was only frustrated by 
M. du Plessis' arrival at Gonnor just as the troops were 
starting for Saumur. M. du Plessis plainly told the King 
of Navarre that he would call down the curse of France 
on his head if he went, and that all his hopes would be 
shattered just because of his love of a frolic, and because 
he preferred to force his way over the river than cross it 
peacefully at the summons of the King, who was only 
waiting to admit him into France. On his part M. de 
Buhy was of immense service in combating the King's 
distrust and in inducing him to rely whole-heartedly on 
the King of Navarre's assistance, in spite of allegations 
on the one hand that the said King had been too deeply 
injured for his offers to be honest, and on the other too 
weak for them to be of any use. However, an end was 
reached at last and on the 15 th of April 1589 M. du 
Plessis marched into Saumur without any opposition and 
established a garrison there taken from M. de Pr^aux' 
regiment. He pledged the King of Navarre on his own 
security for the sum of 8000 crowns to be paid to M. de 
Lessart and M. de Lestelle, deeming the money was due 
to them rather than to the Captain Pol to whom the King 
of Navarre had promised it. This money was duly paid 
to them by M. du Plessis later on. M. du Plessis took 


his oath at the city gate in the presence of M. de Beaulieu 
Ruze, 1 Secretary of State, who thereupon gave the keys 
of the city into his hands. This delivery of Saumur was 
thought to be a matter of such importance by all respon- 
sible men that unknown to the King a number of people 
at Tours privately subscribed 10,000 crowns among them- 
selves, which they gave to M. de Lessart on condition 
that he should make no difficulty about giving up the 
town. This was over and above the adequate recom- 
pense which the King gave him both in money down and 
in land out of the royal domain. At the same time the 
King of Navarre's declaration on his crossing the Loire 
was published, which was written by M. du Plessis by the 
command and pleasure of the late King. This declara- 
tion was read aloud to His Majesty, word by word, and 
approved by him before it was printed. 

On the 17th April the King of Navarre made his entry 
into Saumur and three days later rode off towards 
Chateau du Loir in the hope of falling in with some of 
the Duke of Mayenne's troops. This attempt was, 
however, countermanded by the King (of France) who 
had been warned that the Duke of Mayenne was on the 
march with all his forces, and so the King of Navarre 
turned aside to Maille. Thence, not without great 
unwillingness on the part of his followers and many 
doubts in his own mind, he went to kiss the King's hand 
at Plessis-les-Tours, relying solely on the honour of his 
escort, the Marechal d'Aumont. 2 The meeting between 
the two Kings was deeply moving, not only from the 
perfect frankness with which they met each other, after 
all that had come and gone, but also from the joy which 
lit up the faces of all those present who felt that the 
salvation of France depended upon it. Every eye turned 
to gaze on the King of Navarre whose great-heartedness 
was shown by his coming. Immediately the interview 

1 Martin Ruze de Beaulieu, Secretaire des Finances from 1588-1606. 

2 Jean d'Aumont, 1522-1595, Marshal of France, supported Henri de 
Navarre on the death of Henri III. 


was over the King of Navarre wrote to M. du Plessis to 
relate all that had happened and his satisfaction at his 
reception. M. du Plessis replied in a letter which began 
with these words, " Sire, you have done exactly what 
you ought to have done, but what no one dared advise 
you to do." 

A few days after this meeting of the two Kings, while 
the King of Navarre was away with his troops in the 
neighbourhood of Chinon, M. de Mayenne attacked St 
Siphorian, a suburb of Tours north of the river, and did 
a great deal of damage. There was a furious skirmish 
there to the great alarm of the town, and the citizens 
loudly called on the King of Navarre for help, although 
the King (of France) was himself present. There was 
such a scarcity of munitions that the King sent a courier 
to ride post-haste all night to Saumur, to beg M. du Plessis 
to dispatch twenty hundredweight of powder without 
loss of time. The King also warned him to set a guard 
in the suburb of Saumur known as La Croix Verte. 
M. du Plessis lodged four companies of foot-soldiers 
there protecting them with some sort of slight barricades. 
A few days later he began the fortifications with all 
speed such as still exist at the present day. About this 
same time I arrived at Saumur with all our household, 
to be near to M. du Plessis. I must confess that, if we 
were to be driven from our own home in so good a cause 
I had always longed for some settled place of abode •/ 
where we could live with our children. The governor- 
ship first of Castres and then of Albret, on the death of 
the Count de Gurson, and of other places as well had 
been suggested, but the King of Navarre would not 
seriously consider them because he could not do without 
M. du Plessis' constant attendance. But God, whose 
will it was that we should leave all things inHis hands, pro- 
vided this refuge for us at the time and in the place where 
we could best serve both His Church and our own affairs. 

M. du Plessis was incapacitated from accompanying the 
two Kings on their journey to Paris by a violent attack of 


tertiary fever. It was brought on by all the heavy work 
he had gone through and it lasted for fully forty-nine 
fits. But the length of the attack was due to the sickness 
of the times rather than to his own illness, because every- 
thing that happened through these months did more to 
aggravate his suffering than all that diet and medicine 
could do to cure it. I took him to Tours by boat, ill as 
he was, partly on business connected with his Governor- 
ship and partly for a consultation with the doctors on 
his malady. Two leagues short of Tours, whilst we 
rested in a little inn, two letters were delivered to him, 
one close on the top of the other. The first was from 
M. de St Martin de Villangluse the other from M. de 
Montlouet and both brought by messengers riding post- 
haste. The first letter said that wherever M. du Plessis 
was when the letter reached him he was not to budge 
before he had spoken with a gentleman who was on his 
way to find him ; the other, that in whatever place he 
was found he was to hurry on as fast as ever he could. 
These contradictory instructions threw him into a great 
perplexity, and all the more because on questioning M. 
de Montlouet's messenger he learnt that there was a 
rumour that one of the two Kings was dead. On hearing 
this such a violent access of sorrow seized him that he 
flung himself down on the bed. At this moment M. de 
Lambert, of Perigord, a gentleman-in-waiting to the 
King of Navarre, and the younger Armagnac, his first 
valet, arrived as messengers from both the King himself 
and the King of Navarre. They told him the whole 
story. They carried a letter from the King in which he 
described the wound of which he died two hours after 
writing this letter. From the King of Navarre they 
brought messages telling M. du Plessis of the King's 
death. His Majesty, they said, placed himself in M. du 
Plessis' hands in everything relating to his service in our 
parts, regretting his illness but yet congratulating himself 
that at least it had kept him on the Loire. More par- 
ticularly he charged him to find a way to get the Cardinal 


de Bourbon 1 out of Chinon and away from M. de 
Chavigny at whatever cost, even to all he had, because if 
once the Cardinal regained his freedom he would pro- 
claim himself King. On hearing this news M. du Plessis 
returned at once to Saumur without pursuing his journey- 
further. He travelled all through the night, racked 
with fever. In the boat on the way down he wrote 
several dispatches foreseeing that the King's faithful 
servants would need troops to hold the towns. As soon 
as each message was written he set one of his men ashore 
with orders to ride post to the town nearest to the 
landing-place. It was a most fortunate move on his part 
for in consequence M. de Parabere, Governor of Niort, 
came straight to Saumur with part of the regiment under 
him, and thus, when the loyal citizens of the King at 
Tours asked M. du Plessis for help, he was able to beg 
M. de Parabere to go to their succour. And very welcome 
he was. Others of his friends also came to his aid so that 
he could strengthen M. de Chavigny at Chinon. At 
Saumur, although he was aware that the governors in all 
the neighbouring towns were disarming the inhabitants, 
he decided to leave things as they were lest the contrary 
behaviour should be taken as a sign of weakness or fear. 
And it was our poor town which, in the midst of alarms 
on all sides, became the refuge of all the princesses and 
great ladies who had been living at Tours up till now. 

During the whole of this harassing time I can truth- 
fully say that I never saw him free from business for a 
single moment even in the midst of his attacks of fever. 
He was the mainstay of all loyal servants of the King 
and the State in our parts, who came or wrote to him for 
advice all day long. Even members of the Parliament of 
Paris, 2 then sitting at Tours under the presidency of 

1 Charles de Bourbon, Cardinal, uncle of Henri de Navarre. The League 
chose him as successor to Henri III. After the assassination of the Due de 
Guise Henri III had placed him in confinement under M. de Chavigny. 

2 A part of the Parlement de Paris left Paris after the Journee des 
Barricades, 12th May 1588, and supported Henri III, while a part stayed on 
and adhered to the League. 



M. d'Espesses, one of the most important men at this 
time, were in constant communication with him. There 
is nothing now improper in saying that things had come 
to such a pass, even in the opinion of some of the best 
men, that the parliament determined to advise the King 
to agree that he and the Cardinal de Bourbon should 
reign together, by mutual agreement and with the same 
Council, the one to content the catholics and the other 
the protestants, just as had been done by certain Emperors 
according to what was alleged. One of the most pro- 
minent members of the court of Parliament came to 
propose this scheme to M. du Plessis on behalf of his 
colleagues, adding that they would not press it if it were 
against his opinion. M. du Plessis replied that they did 
him too much honour by consulting him but that they 
must pardon him if he said that they spoke like men 
unaccustomed to difficulties such as the present ; that 
time could disentangle many things that seemed beyond 
the wit of man to remedy ; that God could bring to 
pass in a moment things that time could only achieve by 
a slow process ; and that if they had patience they would 
soon find themselves free from their present anxiety. 
In the meantime he was busy bargaining to get the 
Cardinal de Bourbon out of Chinon. He had himself 
carried to Monsoreau whither I accompanied him, and 
there he arranged with Mme de Chavigny through the 
mediation of the Duchess d'Angouleme x that the 
Cardinal should be handed over to him to be treated in 
whatever manner the King commanded. The conditions 
agreed on were as follows : that 2000 crowns were to be 
given immediately to M. de Chavigny to pay the garrison 
of Chinon, which sum M. du Plessis raised on loan without 
loss of time so that the agreement should not run the risk 
of falling through. Further, when the Cardinal was 
handed over, 6000 crowns were to be paid at once to 
M. de Chavigny and 14,000 more in six months' time 
secured on M. du Plessis' word. A day or two before this 

1 Diane, legitimized daughter of Henri II. 


bargain was concluded M. de Manou, M. d'O's ' brother, 
came on a similar errand from the King to M. de Chavigny 
but he met with no success. The day was fixed for M. du 
Plessis to come for the Cardinal and to make everything 
as safe as possible it was arranged that Messrs de la 
Boulaye, de Parabere, de Feuqueres (my first husband's 
nephew) and de Choupes should meet at a certain place 
on the river Vienne near to Chinon. This they did, 
bringing quite a large force with them by good fortune. 
The affair was not altogether free from difficulty for M. 
de la Chatre ' was planning to attack Chinon and free 
the Cardinal ; he was also secretly trying what bribes 
could do to help. Also the Cardinal de Vendome 8 and 
the Comte de Soissons both angrily threatened M. de 
Chavigny by letters sent express, if he should dare to let 
his prisoner leave his hands. On the very day appointed 
the Comte de Soissons was at Langest with his troops 
and the Due d'Epernon * at Noatre with his, quite enough 
between them to have stopped the whole thing. 

In spite of everything M. du Plessis believed that 
waiting would only make things worse, and so, ill as he 
was, he mounted a-horseback and rode with a few of his 
friends to Chinon to take charge of the Cardinal. He 
was received by M. de Chavigny in the most friendly 
manner and with every sign of perfect confidence. M. du 
Plessis took the Cardinal across the Vienne without loss 
of time and on the further bank found Messrs de la 
Boulaye, de Parabere and de Choupes drawn up for 
battle and ready to escort them to Loudun. The 6000 
crowns had been paid down to M. de Chavigny ; as for 
the fourteen thousand instead of paying them down a 
charge of fourteen hundred crowns per annum on the 
tallies of the election of Rochelle was settled on him. 

1 Francois, Marquis d'O, favourite of Henri III, Surintendant des 
Finances, supported Henri de Navarre on death of Henri III. 

2 Claude de la Chatre, 1536-1614 ; created Marshal of France by the 
Due de Mayenne ; later supported Henri IV. 

3 Charles de Bourbon, 4th son of Louis, 1st Prince de Conde 

4 Jean Louis de Nogaret, favourite of Henri III ; submitted to Henri IV 


I have heard M. du Plessis relate that the Cardinal 
tried hard to delay his departure but that he cut him 
short by telling him that he must be ready in half an hour. 
When the Cardinal protested that he had no litter, nor 
mules, nor coach he was told that everything he could 
want had been provided so that there was no excuse for 
delay. He was much afraid of being taken to La Rochelle 
but he was assured that this was not to be done ; then he 
asked to be taken to Saumur which was a request that 
M. du Plessis had the King's authority to grant. Several 
of M. du Plessis' friends urged him to consent on several 
grounds of great weight but he refused because he felt 
he would imprison himself by becoming the guardian of 
so important a prisoner. The worst was that by evening 
M. du Plessis fell desperately ill of diarrhoea at Loudun 
brought on by the weak state of his health after four 
months of ague, and this made it impossible for him to 
escort the Cardinal any further. This was a bitter blow 
to his prisoner who had the most complete confidence in 
him. They all agreed that the Cardinal should be 
conveyed to the Abbey of Mailezais (in Poitou) and 
arranged together the method of guarding him. M. de 
la Boulaye and M. de Parabere jointly undertook to escort 
him and M. de la Boulaye agreed to act as his guardian. 
M. de la Boulaye gave a solemn promise to M. du Plessis, 
on his honour and his faith and signed with his hand, to 
yield the prisoner to the King or to anyone appointed by 
him when and where His Majesty should please to 
command. M. du Plessis gave him two of his Swiss 
who were always to sleep at the door of the Cardinal's 
room. Having thus brought off his enterprise M. du 
Plessis sent off one of his men, called du Morier, to tell 
the King whom he found at Dieppe and who was over- 
joyed at the news. He asked for all particulars most 
carefully and then said : " This is one of the finest bits 
of service anyone could do me ; M. du Plessis makes very 
sure of what he undertakes." The truth is M. du 
Plessis carried this enterprise through at a time when 





the King was as good as besieged in Dieppe and when his 
best friends despaired not only of his cause but even of 
his personal safety. 

Among his papers there are a number of notes dealing 
with the advice he gave the King on his accession to the 
throne, as well as dispatches both home and foreign and 
so forth. I will limit myself to two points only. The 
first was this : that to avoid making any declaration on 
the subject of religion, as no doubt he would be pressed 
to do, the King should declare that he could think of 
nothing whatever until the late King's death was avenged, 
and that he called on all good Frenchmen to join with him 
in a crusade in pursuit of so just a vengeance. The second 
point was this : that to avoid using terms in dispatches 
which might be unsuitable to the religion he professed 
and give offence to his co-religionists both at home and 
abroad, His Majesty should select one of his former 
Secretaries of State whom he should command to write 
for him in cases where such difficulties might arise. 
In fact for want of some such arrangement certain 
persons were deeply offended whom it has since proved 
very difficult to appease. 

While M. du Plessis was at Loudun the Court of 
Parliament at Tours sent a warning by M. de Vallegran, 
brother of M. de Belesbat the chancellor of Navarre and 
the counsel for the prosecution in this case, that a 
Cordelier, called Father Marel, who was executed at 
Tours had confessed that two other monks had left 
Vendome with him disguised as laymen and with their 
tonsures hidden, for the purpose of killing M. du Plessis. 
Orders being at once issued to be on the watch one of 
these monks was arrested at Loudun ; his name was Andre* 
Fouquet and he was recognized by certain peculiarities 
described by the said Marel. Being examined by the 
judge of the Prevotd of Loudun he avowed his design 
and gave the names of those who had instigated it. 
Fearing that he should be thought to bias the course of 
justice at Loudun, as he belonged to a different religion 


to the monk, M. du Plessis sent him before the Cour de 
Parlement at Tours, where he was judged and condemned. 
Through the diligence of the members of the said court 
the third man was taken prisoner at Chatellerault but 
through the treachery, or at least the connivance of M. 
de Rouet, the Governor of that town, he was liberated in 
a riot fomented for this very purpose among the towns- 

As soon as he recovered his strength after his return to 
Saumur M. du Plessis swept the League out of several 
forts which its adherents had seized in the vicinity of the 
town. This done the King sent to him from Tours 
bidding him join him there and from thence he accom- 
panied His Majesty to the siege of Mans and shared 
in such other exploits as turned up. His Majesty, whom 
he had not yet seen since his accession to the throne, 
showed him in every possible way how highly he valued 
his services. The first suggestion which M. du Plessis 
made to the King was the re-establishment of the (pro- 
testant) Church by a public Edict. He argued that 
private and underhand methods would never succeed 
but would merely excite opposition at every turn. His 
Majesty took all this in very good part. While they were 
both listening to a (protestant) sermon in the Abbey of 
La Couture in a suburb of Mans the King beckoned to 
M. du Plessis before all the congregation, and whispered 
in his ear, " Who would have dared to foretell two years 
ago that the Gospel would be preached at Mans ? " 
" Nor to tell you, Sire," he replied, " that it would be 
preached in the King of France's hall." 

Certain people at this time urged His Majesty to 
merge his patrimony with the royal domain but M. du 
Plessis successfully prevented this in consideration of 
Madame, the King's only sister. He pointed out that 
if the King followed this advice his patrimony would 
become entailed as the royal domain was. It would 
follow that if he should die childless his sister would be 
ousted from the succession ; if he should have only 


daughters they could get nothing from either source ; if 
he should have younger sons he could leave them nothing 
from his patrimony ; if he wanted to raise money his 
private property, left as it was, could be sold outright 
for 60, 80 or even 100 per cent, of its value, while if it 
were converted into crown lands he could get no more 
than 10 or 12 per cent, for the life interest on it. And 
moreover he would wrong many of his creditors who had 
charges on his patrimony by changing the nature of his 
tenure. Hearing all which arguments His Majesty 
replied that he would have nothing to do with the pro- 
posed change in spite of what anyone said. Calling up 
the Marshal de Biron ' he said to him, " I have always 
felt sure that I ought not to unite my patrimony to the 
Crown lands but I never clearly understood why until 
I listened to M. du Plessis' explanations, and now I want 
you to listen to them too." The Marshal was ever 
afterwards of the same opinion and I may add that M. du 
Plessis did Madame, the King's sister, a very important 
service in the matter. The result was a declaration 
against uniting the King's patrimony to the royal domain 
but it has not yet been registered in Parliament. I have 
often heard M. du Plessis regret that the King had not 
contented himself with retaining possession without any 
reference to the Court of Parliament which had its own 
reasons for refusing its consent at that time. 

The King next commanded him to escort the Duchess 
of Montmorenci as far as Saintonge on her way to rejoin 
her husband in Languedoc, which he did. The lady 
carried with her a promise of the Constableship of France. 
His return to Saumur fell about the end of the year 1589 
and he stayed at home till early in the following year. 
He spent his time in driving out what was left of the 
enemy from the Senechaussee of Saumur and the rest of 
the country under his charge. He left Saumur very 
hastily on a summons from the King to join him on the 
field of battle, and spent almost the whole of the year 

1 Armand de Gontaut, baron de Biron, Marshal of France, 1524-1592. 


1590 at the King's side. From Chateaudun he wrote me 
the following letter : 

" Sweetheart. Letters from His Majesty made me 
hurry away for it seems that M. de Mayenne is about to 
cross the river. God is with us and will bring their 
insolence and our misery to an end. Here in this place 
the Gospel is preached publicly, there have been several 
baptisms and worthy men are filled with a great sense of 
consolation. It is a good omen. These things are not 
done without giving rise to murmurs and there may be 
complaints ; however, in the King's army they are legal 
and so I suppose may be done wherever his troops are. 
I am writing to M. d'Espina to ask him to offer up 
public prayers ; I know family ones will not be wanting. 
Let us rest in God who orders all things. We are strong 
in God, in natural right and in justice. Human means 
will not fail us. If it comes to a battle victory is certain. 
Thou shalt soon have news of us, so do not let thyself 
worry for God will give thee joy and our prayers be 
changed into thanksgivings. 

"Written at Chateaudun, the 9th March 1590, at 
nine o'clock at night." 

M. du Plessis reached the King on the 13th of March 
and on the 14th th e battle of Ivry w as fought between the 
King and the Duke of Mayenne. He brought the King 
eighty men at arms and as many mounted harquebusiers 
as well as 40,000 crowns in money which came in very 
opportunely to pay the King's Swiss. By the King's 
wish he fought on His Majesty's left with his own 
squadron, where the full force of the Burgundian attack 
under the Count d'Egmont was felt, as the King has often 
since testified. These troops of the enemy numbered 
15,000 horse. Before charging M. du Plessis bade M. de 
Fleury, the minister, who accompanied him, offer up 
prayers at the head of the troops. Next he exhorted his 
companions to do their duty and then he led them to the 
charge with only M. de Feuqueres, my late husband's 
nephew, at his side. He rode deep into the mel£e and 


the grey Spanish horse which he rode was killed under him 
by a lance thrust which entered its left flank and came 
out behind. La Vignolle de Saumur, a follower of his 
and one of the bravest of the brave, saw him fall and 
remounted him on his own horse with the help of a 
landsknecht whom they had taken prisoner, for unaided 
he was unable to mount on account of the weight of his 
armour and the stickiness of the soil. Soon after M. du 
Plessis himself helped to remount la Vignolle on a rider- 
less horse that they met. Ten paces further on M. de 
Feuqueres, going afoot, met with another which he 
mounted in his turn for a very good horse lent to him by 
M. du Plessis had been killed in the charge. But M. de 
Feuqueres my nephew was killed just after by a sword 
wound in his face which he wore uncovered, given him 
by one of a number of Burgundians whom he attacked as 
they were retreating. His death was avenged on the 
spot by la Vignolle. M. du Plessis had great difficulty in 
judging how the battle went for it was, in truth, extremely 
confused ; at the same time seeing the rally on our side 
bigger than on the enemy's he hoped for the best. He 
rode on past the infantry under M. de Vignolles, the 
maitre de camp, and close to the landsknechts, to rejoin 
the King whom he saluted as victor at the head of the 
troops rallied round him. He left him no more that 
day. He was much worried about his standard which 
M. de Granvy a gentleman of Poitou carried but it had 
the good fortune to pass safely through the charge and 
to be the first to rally the King's men, and to find itself 
at Ivry in the victorious pursuit of the enemy. 

M. du Plessis had good reason to give God praise this 
day particularly that, in such a charge, he lost none of his 
men except poor M. de Feuqueres (whom he greatly 
regretted), and even he was not killed in the chief fighting- 
There were not many wounded either, although as many 
as thirteen horses were killed, mostly by sword or lance 
thrusts. In the pursuit M. du Plessis had the joy to fall 
in with his brother, M. de Buhy, who was inquiring 


everywhere for him. He had only reached the army as 
the first cannon was fired. The King on reaching Rosny 
went at once to his private room, accompanied by only 
two or three and there thanked God for this signal 
victory. He asked M. du Plessis what he thought of it. 
" You have succeeded in the bravest folly ever man 
attempted, Sire," M. du Plessis replied, " for you staked 
your kingdom on the cast of a die. But you knew the 
issue lay with God and the fruits of the victory must be 
consecrated to His use. For the rest, we swear, Sire, to 
fight for your preservation, but we beseech you to swear 
us an oath in your turn, which is that you will fight no 
more in person." More he said on this point which His 
Majesty took in very good part and promised to do as he 
was asked. However, so soon as he set eyes on the 
enemy, he would neither let anyone remind him of this 
promise nor remember it of himself. 

That same evening M. du Plessis himself wrote all the 
dispatches announcing the victory as the King had no 
secretary of State with him. On the morrow news 
reached him that all his own and his troop's baggage had 
been stolen by the townsfolk of Vernon from his quarters, 
which were three leagues away from the battlefield. 
He had left everything behind by the King's orders so 
that he might not be late in arriving for the combat. 
I had taken such pains in equipping him and had spent 
no small sum either foreseeing that he was likely to be 
long away. As a matter of fact he was nine whole months 
absent and he and his men suffered very much from the 
loss of their things. 

M. de Buhy, his brother, and he together reduced 
Vernon to the King's obedience through the reliance 
which the inhabitants placed in them both, and this 
event did not a little to shake the confidence of the 
citizens of Mantes. Two days later Mantes opened its 
gates to the King. 

It was there, at Mantes, that the King commanded 
M. du Plessis to enter his State Council and bade Marshal 


de Biron to install him, to everyone's gratification. He 
took the oaths a few days later and was the first protestant 
to be admitted. I must not forget to add that he sent 
his valet, Daulay, a man from Buhy, from the battlefield 
to me with a message in a cipher agreed upon between us 
and that very evening he wrote me a full account of the 
victory. I sent the original on to the Marshal de 
Matignon who, directly he saw the handwriting, 
organized public rejoicings at Bordeaux, and these were 
followed by others all over the country. 


An Attempted Assassination 

Sometime in the year 1597 the Sieur de Vernay, 
Lieutenant of the castle of Chinon, growing discontented, 
turned out the Lady de Chavigny, who acted as Governor 
of the town for her husband who was incapacitated by 
age and blindness, and made himself master in her 
stead. He agreed to hold the place under M. de la 
Tr^moille and to allow the practice of the reformed 
religion in exchange for M. de la Tremoille's support. 
But on being reproached with his treating with the 
protestants he next had recourse to M. d'Epernon, and 
even took money from him. M. du Plessis, by the King's 
command, saw him and made him promise to give up 
all bargaining with private people and to depend only 
on the King, who confirmed him in the governorship. 
Out of this affair arose the attempted assassination of 
M. du Plessis by the Sieur de St Phal • at Angers. This 
M. de St Phal had some project for reinstating Madame 
de Chavigny, who was his aunt, in the governorship of 
Chinon. He used as his go-between a certain Moncenis 
who was seized near Mirabeau by some soldiers and the 
letters he carried were sent to M. du Plessis. M. du 
Plessis opened some of them just to see whether the bearer 
was a proper seizure or no, but he decided to set him free 
and gave him back his letters as soon as he saw they were 
signed by St Phal. His suspicions had certainly been 

1 Georges de Vaudray, Marquis de Saint Phal. His half-sister married 
Charles de Cosse, Marshal de Brissac. The family motto was " Y'ay valu, 
vaux et vaudray ". ' Un plaisant ajouta " rien " a l'occasion de l'indigne 
conduite de St Phal ' in regard to M. du Plessis. Lettres missives de 
Henri IV, iv, 875. 



aroused but as he could not see his way clearly he said 
nothing to the King on the subject. 

M. du Plessis was afterwards employed in the negotia- 
tions for the surrender of Brittany by the Due de Mercceur. 
St Phal, who was brother-in-law to M. de Brissac, was in 
Angers when the treaty was arranged between Du Plessis, 
De Brissac and De Schomberg in that town. 

The Marshal de Brissac, M. de Schomberg 1 and M. 
du Plessis spent the morning of the 28th of Oct. 1597 in 
a conference and at its close they all went to dine together 
with M. de Rochefort, the Governor of Angers. When 
M. du Plessis left the Governor's house to return to his 
own lodgings about two hours after noon, doubting 
nothing and almost unaccompanied, for his men were 
scattered about the town amusing themselves, he met 
M. de St Phal at the entrance to the little street. M. de 
St Phal told him he had something to say to him. M. du 
Plessis replied that he was ready to listen, whereupon 
M. de St Phal demanded to know why his letters had been 
opened, as was mentioned above. This occurrence had 
happened five months before. M. du Plessis explained 
the circumstances exactly as they happened and M. de 
St Phal seemed to be satisfied, as indeed he had reason. 
Notwithstanding this he repeated his complaints more 
forcibly, which is a proof that the deed was premeditated, 
and M. du Plessis told him twice over that if his explana- 
tion did not please him he would give him satisfaction 
when and how he liked in the way usual between gentle- 
men, leaving all arrangements to him. On this M. de St 
Phal took a step backwards and with a stick which he 
held hidden behind him struck M. du Plessis a blow on 
his bare head, for they had been speaking together hat 
in hand. The blow, striking his temple brought M. du 
Plessis to the ground, staggering as he felt for his sword. 
St Phal immediately ran for his horse leaving his servants 

1 Gaspard de Schomberg, b. 1540 in Saxony, but came young to France 
and was employed in important positions in the army by Henri III and in 
finance by Henri IV. 


to finish the job. They lunged at M. du Plessis but 
partly his fall and partly the help given him by one of 
his servants saved him. He quickly got to his feet, 
sword in hand, but by that time St Phal had escaped, 
leaving his men to form a hedge right across the road to 
cover his flight and thus he reached the horse in waiting 
for him. M. de St Phal had ten or twelve men paid to 
do the job, besides several others hidden in the shops 
who ran up when the blow was struck ; M. du Plessis 
had with him only Lugny, his squire, who was attacked 
from behind and knocked down, Brouard, his maitre 
d? hotel, who warded off several blows from his master 
before he fell himself, a clerk to a receiver of Saumur 
named Pilet and another young man named Drugeon, 
who chanced to be passing, both of whom set on St Phal's 
men and both of whom received sword cuts. The news 
immediately ran round the town that M. du Plessis was 
killed and the rumour even reached la Doutre, another 
certain proof that St Phal intended to assassinate him. 
But thanks to God he was but slightly hurt considering 
the blow, bv which it is manifest that men can fail to 
kill even when they intend to do so and would seem to 
have the power to carry out their intention. 

M. de Brissac, 1 M. de la Rochepot and M. d'Avaugour, 
all relatives of St Phal came that same evening to see M. 
du Plessis, all expressing their detestation of the villain 
and offering to punish him in whatever way M. du 
Plessis wished. He replied that the affair was too fresh 
for any decision to be made and that he must take counsel 
with his friends on the best course for him to pursue. 
The King's officials also came to see him to whom he 
said that they did not need to be told the duties of their 
charge ; in truth his only wish was to get away from a 
place where he felt he was very unsafe. That same 
evening he sent Lenteuille and Pilet with a letter to me 
which he wrote with his own hand as soon as he knew 

1 Charles de Cosse, Due and Marechal de Brissac, Governor of Paris for 
the League, which city he sold to Henri IV 1594, m. Judith, sister of St Phal. 


he was out of danger. They found me at Gien, still 
extremely weak with the palpitations brought on by the 
baths and the waters I had been taking. I was there to / 
meet our son just home from his travels. The joy of 
meeting him was dimmed by this sad news. After giving 
God thanks I decided, in spite of my weakness, to get to 
Saumur as fast as possible so as to rejoin M. du Plessis 
while my son rode on before me. When my husband 
and I came together it seemed like being born again, he ' 
escaping, out of all likelihood, from assassination and I, 
contrary to all hope, from the tomb. 

On the way from Angers to Saumur M. de Schomberg 
sent M. de la Bastide, Governor of Pont de Ce* and the 
King's maitre d'botel ordinaire, to His Majesty and he told 
the whole story of the attempt on M. du Plessis' life to 
the King. The King took the matter very much to 
heart and at once sent M. de la Bastide back to M. du 
Plessis with a letter written by himself in these very 
words : " that the injury was done to himself and that 
as his friend he would stake his life and his sword as freely 
as any other friend of his, but that as his King he would 
see that justice was done to his full satisfaction," and so 
forth. His Majesty told M. de Brissac to hand his 
prisoner over to M. Dauphin, exempt of his guard, so 
that he might be safely lodged in the Castle of Angers ; 
for on the representations of M. de Schomberg M. de 
Brissac had arrested M. de St Phal, though rather to 
protect him from vengeance than to further the cause of 
justice. M. de Brissac shuffled out of complying with 
the King's orders, assuring His Majesty at the same time 
that he would answer for St Phal with his honour and his 
life. But instead of guarding him properly he lent him 
his house at la Guerche for a prison, whence he soon 
after escaped into Anjou to his own castle of Beaupreau, 
in the Mauges country. 

This event rallied a number of good friends to M. du 
Plessis' side. The greater number of the chief nobles 
and all men of honour who were with His Majesty were 


moved to horror by the infamy of the deed ; the Cour de 
Parlement expressed a wish that the criminal should be 
handed over to them to be made an example of ; and the 
King's own special servants in the Court, Messrs Servain 
and Mariou, were ready personally to beg the King to 
allow them to demand justice in his name. The members 
of the Assembly at Chatellerault, 1 both as a body and as 
representatives of their individual provinces, sent M. de 
Cases specially to condole with him and to offer him 
everything that lay in their power or in that of their 
provinces. They even sent important members of their 
body to the King to put their procedure before him in 
the right light. M. du Plessis contented himself with 
thanking them for their goodwill but declined their 
offers for fear of arousing jealousy. The principal 
protestant churches and towns did the same as the 
Assembly, especially the people of Rochelle, who offered 
to send a company of citizens with guns and ammunition 
to help him in anything he might choose to undertake. 
The Duke of Bouillon, 2 a Marshal of France, and M. de la 
Tremoille both of whom spoke of having the honour to 
be related to M. du Plessis, laid him under the deepest 
obligation by their offers of their own persons, of their 
friends and even of the troops they had in the field. 
M. de Chatillon, young as he was, did the same and the 
obligation was as great to his mother as to him ; neither 
were M. de Rohan and M. de Soubise 3 more backward, 
for M. de Rohan even proposed to go to the King and 
demand justice in the name of all the kinsmen, for they 
recognized that M. du Plessis had the honour to be 
connected with their house both through his father and 
his mother. They were strengthened in their friendly 
offers by the affection which Mme de Rohan, their mother, 

1 An Assembly of delegates from the huguenot churches. 

2 Henri de la Tour, Vicomte de Turenne, Due de Bouillon 1591. 

3 Henri de Rohan, afterwards 1st Due de Rohan, 1579-1638, Benjamin 
de Rohan, seigneur de Soubise, 1583-1642, sons of Rene de Rohan and 
Catherine de Parthenay, daughter and heiress of J. de Parthenay de 
Soubise. Catherine de Parthenay was an ardent calvinist. 


had always shown us. The Princess of Orange * also took 
up his cause in memory of the good service M. du Plessis 
had always vowed to her late husband, and the friendship 
between them. She assured the King that every honour- 
able man, without as well as within the realm was watch- 
ing to see that justice was done. Among the nobles and 
gentry of the protestant religion, who showed their 
friendly feelings, were the Marquis of Gallerande, the 
Vidame de Chartres, Messrs de la Force, 2 de Parabere, 
de Montglat * and a dozen more. Of the Catholic 
nobility M. de Montpensier did him the honour to offer 
his services, addressing him as a kinsman ; Mme de 
Fontevrault, 4 agreeably to her sex, showed the liveliest 
sympathy ; the Constable wrote to him assuring him 
that he would see that justice was done, lost no oppor- 
tunity of pressing the matter and followed it up to its 
conclusion. The Comte de Chiverny, 6 the Chancellor, 
sent most friendly letters all the way to Saumur ; M. 
d'Elbceuf,* mindful of certain good turns which M. du 
Plessis had done him, took his revenge with such kindness 
as cannot be told ; M. de Villeroi, Secretary of State, 
specially made the affair his own and omitted nothing 
friendship could demand. M. du Plessis had also good 
reason to feel obliged to Marshal Boisdauphin, 7 and to 
the Governors of Poitou, Touraine, Rennes, de la Marche 
and Angers, to the Bishop of Bayeux and to many more 
catholic nobles and gentry of importance, one and all 
offering to do anything in their power. In especial 

1 Louise de Coligny, 4th wife of William, Prince of Orange, d. of Admiral 

a Jacques Nonpar de Caumont, Marquis de la Force, afterwards Duke, 
and Marshal of France, 1558-1652. 

1 Robert de Harlay, baron de Montglat. His wife was afterwards 
' gouvernante ' to the children of Henri IV. 

* Eleanor de Bourbon, aunt to Henri IV, Abbess of Fontevrault. 

6 Philippe Hurault, 1528-1599, Chancellor of France under Henri III 
and Henri IV. 

6 Charles de Lorraine, Due d'Elbceuf, son of Rene, 7th son of Claude, 
1st Due de Guise, d. 1609. 

7 Urbain de Laval, marquis de Sable, Marshal of France under the title 
of Marechal de Boisdauphin. Fought for the League but later supported 
Henri IV. 


M. de Malicorne, Governor of Poitou, who was seventy- 
years old, offered to come with five hundred gentlemen, 
all friends of his. I tell all these things not from vanity 
but because our son ought to know to whom we are under 
obligation so that he may return the kindness to them 
and theirs. Nor ought I to forget Mme d'Avaugour, St 
Phal's aunt. She sent a gentleman for the express purpose 
of telling M. du Plessis how much she detested the deed 
and to protest that she preferred his friendship and his 
kindredship above the near relationship of his opponent, 
and that if her sex allowed she would like to be in at the 
vengeance. Among our near relatives those who took 
the matter most to heart were M. de Buhy, M. du Plessis' 
elder brother (whom God took to Himself before the 
cause was settled) ; the Archbishop of Rheims, 1 his uncle, 
the Bishop of St Malo 2 and M. de Vardes, his first 
cousins, M. de Mouy, although he served under St Phal, 
and many others of our kindred. So far as men of Law 
were concerned there were Forget de Blancmesnil and 
de Thou, 3 presidents of the court, du Bouchet, president 
of the Chambre des Comptes and Messrs de Fresne and 
de Guere, secretaries of State. His kinswoman, the 
Mar6chale de Retz, 4 promised her husband's friendship 
and the personal help of her son. 

M. du Plessis was bewildered between the varied 
advice and his own honour and conscience, but resolved 
to do nothing to satisfy the first to the prejudice of the 
second. So as to do everything with ripe consideration 
after hearing the advice of his nearest kinsmen he begged 
M. de Pierrefitte first to go to His Majesty with his 
humble thanks for the honour he had done him and then 
to summon a family council to determine on the proper 
course to pursue. Those who followed the profession of 

1 Philippe de Bee, Archbishop of Rheims, 1598-1608. He was appointed 
to the see by Henri IV in 1594 but could not take possession till 1598. 

2 Jean de Bee, Bishop of St Malo, 1599-1610. He was made Bishop of 
Nantes in 1594 and exchanged it for St Malo. 

3 Jacques Auguste de Thou, 3rd son of Christophe de Thou, the historian. 
* Catherine de Clermont Tonnerre, m. Albert de Gondi, Marechal de 



arms advised a recourse to arms, not by a challenge of 
which they all agreed St Phal had rendered himself 
unworthy, but by some act of violence which his conduct 
had made permissible. Those who followed the pro- 
fession of justice preferred a recourse to justice for an 
act in which honour had no part, being in fact an attempt 
at assassination and therefore to be judged as a crime, 
a course which would certainly make a striking example 
of the culprit. But although the path of justice could 
not be followed without renouncing the path of honour 
it was decided to choose the former, provided that the 
King would consent to be made a party to the cause ; 
and to secure His Majesty's consent the whole family 
were to petition him for justice with the exception of 
M. du Plessis, who would thus be left free to follow the 
other path should God furnish an opportunity. It was 
M. du Plessis' intention to seize St Phal by any possible 
means either in his own house or wherever else he might 
be, and having got hold of him to hand him over unhurt 
to the King since His Majesty had made the quarrel his 
own ; and M. du Plessis was ready to declare himself 
satisfied if once St Phal's life and honour were in his 
hands without doing him any hurt at all. The family 
council decided that M. de Rosny 1 was to present its 
petition to the King, backed by all the kinsmen, but 
M. de Rosny and M. de Fresne, although they agreed 
with the rest, thought it would be better to ascertain the 
King's wishes first. These two gentlemen therefore 
promised to speak with His Majesty. The King's opinion 
was not favourable for he replied that the deed itself 
and the high merit of the victim touched him too nearly 
for any petition to be needed, and he would see such 
justice done as would content the whole clan. 

At this date M. du Plessis had three regiments under 
him commanded by three of his friends. Besides these 

a Maximilien de Bethune, Marquis de Rosny, afterwards Due de Sully, 
1560-1641, in. in 1592 Rachel de Vaucelas, daughter of Mile du Plessis' 
sister. Her first husband was Fr. Hurault de Chateaupers. 


troops numbers of the nobility offered help and the 
Dukes of Bouillon and la Tremoille asked for nothing 
better than to come to his assistance. Artillery and 
ammunition were not lacking and he could easily have 
invested St Phal in his house of Beaupr^au and have 
done what justice he pleased on him. One consideration 
only restrained him. A great deal of bad feeling had 
been stirred up between people of both religions by the 
Assembly at Chatellerault. If he were to take the field, 
supported by all the principal lords of the religion to 
which he belonged, all those of the contrary religion 
would believe, or at least pretend to believe, that there 
was a general uprising and they would at once seize their 
arms too. Thus the State would be disturbed on his 
private account and he would have no certainty of being 
able to pacify it again. The fact that his troops would 
eat the country bare if he were to fight for his own 
private ends also weighed with him. He did, however, 
consent that our son should try to capture St Phal's 
house by petard or assault but he made him and the 
captains who went with him swear to do St Phal no hurt, 
but to bring him back prisoner if they possibly could. 
After all St Phal got a warning from Saumur in time to 
escape, for he had already arranged to take a long journey 
as a cloak for his real purpose. There is no great difficulty 
in guessing who gave him the warning. 

In the month of January 1598 M. de Buhy, M. du 
Plessis' elder brother, died in his own house. He was 
seized with a violent attack of apoplexy while out hunting 
and had already had two similar attacks. We felt his 
loss even in the state we were in. The King wrote a 
letter of condolence to M. du Plessis saying that his own 
loss was not less than ours. M. de Buhy had been 
promised the governorship of either Calais or Nantes, 
whichever town was the first to acknowledge obedience 
to the King and His Majesty confirmed this promise 
with warm expressions of regret when he passed through 
Saumur. Unhappily it was not found possible to secure 


either his existing appointments nor his future preferment 
for his twelve-year-old son. 

[After peace was made with Spain the Duke of Mercceur 
surrendered the Duchy of Brittany and agreed to give 
his only child in marriage to the King's natural son 

On the marriage of Caesar, the son of the King and the 
Duchess of Beaufort, His Majesty gave him the Duchy 
of Vendome as a wedding present with the consent of 
Mme Catherine, Duchess of Bar. Now it should be 
noted that this Duchy was the principal possession of 
the house of Navarre, of which M. du Plessis was the 
surintendant ; nevertheless he was never consulted on 
the gift nor had anything whatever to do with it. No 
doubt His Majesty feared that he would make, because 
of his very fidelity, some remonstrance on the subject. 
So he was only summoned with the rest of the Council 
when everything had been settled by the President 
Jeanin 1 and two notaries simply to hear the deed read 
aloud before the parties, and again when it was presented 
to Madame, the King's sister, for her agreement. 

While the King was at Angers as St Phal refused to 
appear, and his brother-in-law, the Marshal de Brissac, 
pretended that he was unable to hand him over to the 
King as was his duty, a commission was sent to the court 
of Parliament directing that he should be brought to 
trial, with orders to the procureurs and the avocats 
generals to see that justice was done. The crime was 
described as lying in ambush. The Court of Parliament 
sent the commission on to the Lieutenant General of 
Tours for further information. Whereupon the members 
of our family bestirred themselves, more especially 
M. de Mouy, who was related to both parties but who 
was M. du Plessis' particular friend. He felt it a hard 
thing to have his arms and his house dishonoured in the 

1 Pierre Jeanin, 1540-1622. celebrated statesman, employed first by the 
League and afterwards frequently employed by Henri IV in important 
affairs of State. 


person of St Phal. He sounded M. du Plessis in every 
possible way, first at Angers and then at Nantes, but as 
he could not find that he was in any way in fault the 
King commanded the Marshals of France to meet. 
As the result of their deliberations some sort of agreement 
was reached on the proper reparation to be made by St 
Phal to M. du Plessis. While this conference of the 
Marshals was being held M. du Plessis begged His 
Majesty to give him leave of absence, which was granted 
in a very friendly way. He went to Saumur whither the 
Mardchal de Bouillon, 1 his very particular friend, followed 
him to see if he were willing to agree to the terms 
drawn up by the aforesaid conference. But on reading it 
he asked M. de Pierrefitte to go to the King at Rennes 
and lay before him his objections to it. The Lieutenant 
General of Tours, roused by the infamy of the deed, made 
very careful inquiries and examined several witnesses. 
Others were examined at Rennes and all the evidence 
was sent to the record office of the Cours de Parlement of 
Paris, where it can be seen and is more than enough to 
prove the assassination and send the culprit to the 
scaffold. All this was done without any interference on 
the part of M. du Plessis. These proceedings were 
postponed on the King's return to Paris on the assurance 
of St Phal's family that he would give himself up to justice 
if they were allowed to drop entirely, but only on con- 
dition that they would be pursued if he failed to obey 
within a limited time. 

On the 15th of April in this same year 1598, at two 
o'clock in the afternoon Philippe de la Verrie was born 
at Saumur, whither my daughter, 2 his mother, had come 
to be near me, for she and her husband wanted our help 
in certain business matters. M. du Plessis followed the 
King, on his return from Rennes, as far as Bourdaisieres 
near Tours. Here, by the King's desire he and M. de 

1 Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Due and Marechal de Bouillon. 

2 Susanne de Pas, d. of Mile du Plessis' first husband, ra. M. de la Verrie 


Villeroi, the Secretary of State, examined the treaty 
with Spain, which was ratified on their report. 

He soon returned to Saumur, promising the King to 
rejoin him whenever he was sent for. A long time went 
by before any summons came, partly because St Phal 
would not move until he was assured that he would not 
be brought to trial, and partly because, when the assur- 
ance was given, St Phal abused it and went about Paris 
quite openly. It was only when M. du Plessis sent a 
serious complaint to the King that the culprit was at 
last sent as a prisoner to his own house of St Phal in 
Champagne, in the charge of two officers of justice. 
M. du Plessis had told the King through M. de Chesnaye, 
a gentleman-in-waiting who had been sent to summon 
him to court, that he could expect no good result from 
such a beginning, since his opponent was allowed to go 
about Paris armed, a sure argument that he could expect 
no real satisfaction if even the mere decencies of conduct 
were not insisted on. The King took this complaint to 
heart and the officer in charge of St Phal was nearly 
cashiered. Soon after the King was ordered a course of 
treatment and the whole affair was postponed till the 
winter. All these comings and goings occupied the 
whole time between June and the end of October. 

M. du Plessis was most unwilling to rejoin His Majesty 
before St Phal was sent to the Bastille. The King 
promised that he should be sent there but not before 
M. du Plessis had arrived at Court, for fear lest the prisoner 
should be left to languish too long. And things being in 
this position M. du Plessis was advised by his kinsmen not 
to set out. At length they counselled him to come, but 
strictly on the King's business and not on his own, for 
he was wanted on account of certain difficulties which 
had arisen in the affairs of the Religion and also to con- 
clude the marriage-contract of Madame, the King's 
sister. So he came to St Germain en Laye where the 
Court was, accompanied only by M. de Villarnoul to 
whom our eldest daughter was contracted, the Sieur de 


Nesde, maitre de camp, and the Sieur de la Ferriere, 
standard-bearer of his troop and commandant of Veziens. 
He would bring no more followers for he had no wish to 
come attended by a crowd while his opponent was a 
prisoner in the hands of justice. His Majesty did him 
the honour to send his private secretary, M. du Morier, 
to meet him at Meulan with a letter saying how glad the 
King was that he was on his way and promising him all 
he could ask from a good master. So he saw the King at 
St Germain on Dec. 20, 1598 and was very well received 
by him and all the lords at court and his own friends. 
Several days passed without mention of his own private 
affairs but plenty was said about the King's business. In 
particular he was employed with the Duke of Bouillon 
to soothe the opposition of the clergy to the Edict given 
to the protestants (Edict of Nantes), as well as the objec- 
tions raised by the legal officers of the Crown to its verifica- 
tion, and finally to arrange with the Court of Parliament 
the modifications which that body wished to introduce 
into it. In spite of all these obstacles by dint of the 
King's prudence and dexterity, and especially by the 
excellent alternatives to certain expressions which were 
suggested to him, the Edict was simply verified without 
having recourse to the authority of the King's personal 
presence, which might have been construed as the use of 
force on his part ; for His Majesty was convinced that it 
was better to gain his end step by step, through argument, 
than by the use of authority, a procedure which would 
have been prejudicial to the Edict and would have 
rendered its acceptance more difficult. It is undoubtedly 
true that the Edict as verified is weaker than when it was 
drawn up at Nantes, but not much nor in matters of 
importance. The two chief differences are these : the 
first, that the six protestant councillors who ought to 
form part of the Chambre de V Edict at Paris were scattered 
among the other Chambres (and it should be noted 
that this point had been conceded before M. du Plessis 
left Saumur) ; the second, that the national synods could 


only be held with His Majesty's permission. The King 
was pleased to write to M. du Plessis, when he remon- 
strated on the point, that he would see that the protes- 
tants were satisfied. And if the meeting at Chatellerault 
could have believed it, no special article was needed, 
because the general article, allowing the exercise and 
discipline of the protestant Church, would have covered 
all they required. 

At last St Phal was brought prisoner to Paris and 
immediately lodged in the Bastille, his sword being taken 
from him by M. de la Force, Captain of the Guard. 
This was on the 12th January 1599. At the same time a 
courier was sent to Buhy, where M. du Plessis was, 
commanding his attendance. In the meantime the 
Constable, 1 the Marshals of France and the most notable 
among the Chevaliers had met to arrange the business, 
watched over by M. de Vardes, our first cousin, to see 
that nothing was done to M. du Plessis' prejudice. As 
he saw that things were all as they should be (and he was 
very punctilious not only for himself but for his friends 
no less), he wrote to tell M. du Plessis that he need not 
hesitate to come to Paris. As soon as M. du Plessis 
arrived he invited all his chief friends and his nearest 
relatives who were in the city at the time to his lodgings. 
When they were assembled he asked them to give their 
opinion, with due regard to his honour and their own, 
on the form of reconciliation which had been proposed 
to him. They one and all approved of it, declaring that 
in a like case they would none of them refuse a similar 
form and that were a Prince the offended party he could 
ask for no fuller a satisfaction. The said form of pro- 
cedure and apology was couched in the following terms : 

" The Constable and the Marshals of France are to 
present themselves before the King and to inform him 
that they have examined into everything that passed 
between M. du Plessis and M. de St Phal ; that they 
find that M. de St Phal has deeply offended His Majesty, 

1 See introduction. 


and deserves punishment ; and that he cannot meet M. 
du Plessis in combat because the nature of his crime dis- 
qualifies him. Furthermore, since M. de St Phal's 
family has already implored His Majesty for pardon, 
the Constable is to say that this prayer has been repeated 
over again to him, and that he joins his own supplication 
to those of M. de St Phal's family for His Majesty's 
permission to present M. de St Phal to him so that the 
culprit may implore pardon on his knees for his offence. 

" When St Phal presents himself before His Majesty 
he is to kneel on the ground and humbly beg pardon for 
the fault he has committed. He will beg to be allowed 
to apologise to M. du Plessis in the King's presence. 
Then he is to rise and say to M. du Plessis the following 
words : ' Sir, I have reason to believe that you have 
reported certain facts to His Majesty, which might make 
him doubt the loyalty which I owe him as his very 
faithful servant. These facts are as follows : that when 
you were at Angers, after having dined together at M. de 
Rochepot's lodgings, I saw you leave attended by only 
four men, and that I followed you a few minutes later 
better accompanied than you were and was joined by 
more of my men in the street outside ; having caught 
you up I asked you to clear up a question between us. 
You answered courteously and offered to give me the 
satisfaction usual between men of honour, which offer 
should have contented me. But the belief that you had 
wronged me had such power over me that it clouded my 
mind, and drove me to do you the injury which I had 
already planned to do you. Seizing a stick, which I had 
hidden behind me out of your sight, I gave you a blow 
which felled you to the ground. I ran immediately for 
my horse while my servants, sword in hand, attacked 
yours who were endeavouring to defend you. I confess 
that I deliberately attacked you and with such advantage 
on my side as no man of honour could think of employing. 
For all which things I beg your forgiveness and will 
submit to receive a like blow to the one I gave you. 


At the same time I implore you to intercede for me to the 
King so that he may stay the course of justice and avert 
the punishment I deserve for having so unworthily 
injured a gentleman of your quality, a Councillor of 
State who was in the exercise of a commission of the 
highest importance. In return I shall for ever be your 
friend and servant, assuring you that had a like chance 
happened to me I should feel I had received full 

" M. du Plessis shall thereupon humbly implore the 
King to pardon M. de St Phal and shall declare that, so 
far as he himself was concerned, he would have gladly 
secured satisfaction by a different way. The King shall 
then do M. du Plessis the honour to say that he had 
always held that M. St Phal's conduct neither could nor 
ought to be avenged by a recourse to arms ; and this 
being so he considered that M. de St Phal's submission 
was sufficient reparation for the wrong he had done and 
that M. du Plessis ought to be satisfied with it. He felt 
this all the more strongly because it was most essential 
that all quarrels between his servants should be settled, 
especially between those of so much importance. As for 
the crime against himself he would consider what should 
be done about that later on. 

" M. du Plessis shall thereupon say to M. St Phal that 
since it was the King's pleasure and also since the Con- 
stable and the Marshals of France were all agreed that 
proper satisfaction had been given him, he pardoned 
him at His Majesty's command. The King shall then 
do M. St Phal the honour to say that he also pardoned 
him at M. du Plessis' request, at the same time blaming 
his conduct and bidding him take care not to offend again 
in a like manner." 

Everything being thus arranged on the following day 
M. de la Force, the Captain of the Guard, brought 
M. St Phal, unarmed, into the King's presence. Throw- 
ing himself upon his knees at the King's feet before all the 
Princes and nobles then at Court M. St Phal read aloud 


the above apology. Most of those who had formed 
M. du Plessis' family council were present. They did 
not accompany M. du Plessis however, but each arrived 
by himself because M. du Plessis would not come to 
meet a bound man escorted by his friends. It should 
be noted that when the question was raised as to whether 
M. St Phal should wear his sword whilst making his 
apologies, His Majesty ordered that he should appear 
before him unarmed, but that having begged for pardon 
and for leave to apologise to M. du Plessis his sword 
should be restored. The reason for this was that His 
Majesty was of opinion that it was more in accordance 
with M. du Plessis' honour for apologies to be made by 
an armed rather than by an unarmed man. It was 
enough that, by appearing unarmed before the King, 
the prisoner acknowledged himself unworthy to bear 
arms until his right to them was restored by the King's 
clemency. A legal document was drawn up and signed 
by His Majesty and countersigned by M. de Villeroi, 
Secretary of State, which expressly stated that " St Phal 
was granted a pardon for the crime of lying in ambush," 
etc. It should not be forgotten that the sentence as 
described above having been carried out in every particu- 
lar, His Majesty rebuked St Phal in the following terms. 
I repeat his very words. 

" That he, an inexperienced man ought to be ashamed 
to attack an old Knight, one who had distinguished 
himself in many fights and in four pitched battles, who 
had won fame in the service of his King, who had filled 
some of the first positions of command, and who, never- 
theless, had offered to meet him as a man of honour. 
However, he (the King) would pardon him on account 
of his youth and at M. du Plessis' own request, but that 
if anyone behaved in a like manner in the future he (the 
King) would make a signal example of the culprit." 

As this attack on M. du Plessis had been much noised 
abroad, both within and without the realm, M. du 
Plessis sent a copy of the apology to all his friends and 


especially to the deputies from the Churches at that 
time sitting at Chatellerault. The ambassadors also all 
asked to see it and he received congratulations on every 
side. It should be noted that the apology was signed by 
the Constable and all the Marshals who had sat in 
judgment, especially by the Marshal de Brissac, St Phal's 
brother-in-law, who has since done everything in his 
power to be friendly with M. du Plessis. M. du Plessis 
also felt much indebted to M. de la Force for his behaviour 
in the last scene. But after all it was the Constable and 
the Duke of Bouillon who really carried the matter 
through. The King proved his good will the whole 
time by saying a word in favour of the wronged party 
whenever he thought it useful, although he had steadily 
refused to allow St Phal to be proceeded against by law, 
an action which would have covered him with disgrace. 


Family Events : 1 590-1 605 

At the end of 1590 some very sad news reached us for 
my mother Dame Magdeleine Chavalier, Mile de la 
Borde, died on the last day of December in that year. 
She had suffered much from the cruelty of the times for 
her house at Esprunes had been pillaged more than once. 
After she had lain ill at Melun for four months she had 
herself carried to her house at Vignau where she rendered 
her soul to God. She had never professed herself a 
protestant but she was not ignorant that there were many 
abuses in the Roman Church and she would gladly have 
seen it reformed. She left two executors to her will, 
M. Guy Arbaleste, sieur de la Borde who is my eldest 
brother, and M. Pierre Morin de Paroi, the late Chan- 
cellor de L'Hospital's brother-in-law. She left 600 
crowns to my daughter, Susanne de Pas, in memory of 
the days when she had had charge of the child. Four 
months later our sorrow was grievously renewed by the 
death of Dame Francoise de Bee, Mile de Buhy, M. du 
Plessis' mother, who loved us all dearly. Up to her last 
breath she showed her zeal and love for our religion. 
She was assisted on her death-bed by M. du Buisson, a 
minister of the Gospel, who is also known by the name of 
Viau. He has often testified that he never met anyone 
who was more willing to leave this world or more assured 
of salvation in Jesus Christ. Her death obliged us to 
send to Mantes to fetch our youngest child, Anne, 
which involved a most perilous journey. This daughter 
of ours had been brought up by my mother-in-law who 
V loved her dearly up to her last breath. She left her a 
legacy as well as one to my son. Her body was taken to 

FAMILY EVENTS: 159(3-1605 271 

Buhy to be buried by the side of her husband. Our 
tears at her loss are not dried even at the date I write, 
and I pray God keep the rest of the family in His mercy. 
. . . During the siege of Rouen in 1591 M. du Plessis 
was sent over to England. The reason for this journey 
was as follows. The King sometime previously had 
recruited four thousand foot-soldiers in England all of 
whom were stricken with sickness owing to the post- 
ponement of the siege till winter had set in. His Majesty 
had warning that the Duke of Parma and the Spaniards 
were on their way and thought it would be impossible to 
carry on the siege as well as meet them in the field if the 
army was not reinforced with infantry. In any case he 
had need of foot-soldiers to carry out the assault on the 
town, for up to this time he had got no further than Fort 
St Catherine just for lack of men. He determined there- 
fore to beg the Queen of England for further assistance 
and selected M. du Plessis for the mission. M. du 
Plessis did what he could to excuse himself not omitting 
to point out to the King that the threads of the treaty of 
peace might be broken through his absence, but it was 
all in vain. The King had the success of the siege very 
much at heart and reckoned that the journey would 
occupy much less time than was possible. M. du Plessis 
set out from Rouen on the last day of December, embarked 
at Dieppe and reached England on New Year's Day 
1592. He was well received and had the great pleasure 
of meeting his old friends once again. But the negotia- 
tion proved inconceivably difficult although the chief 
nobles owned that his requests were most reasonable, 
necessary, dangerous to refuse and if they were refused 
would bring ruin on the King of France and imperil 
themselves. But no arguments could move the Queen 
from her determination that no more soldiers should go 
to France for she feared that their dispatch would furnish 
the Earl of Essex, Commander of the English troops, 
with an excuse for staying abroad. She, on the contrary, 
was trying, at any cost, to get him back, by bribes, by 


persuasion, by threats of disgrace, all because he was the 
person she loved best in the whole world and for whom 
she most dreaded danger. This was the true reason of 
her refusals and delays although she gave others such as 
the small regard in which her advice and her troops had 
been held because Rouen had not been besieged earlier 
in the year. In short M. du Plessis found the only 
possible cure for he knew what the true malady was. He 
replied to all the Queen's avowed reasons for her refusal 
while at the same time he persuaded the King to apply 
the only possible remedy, to wit, pacifying her by send- 
ing the Earl home to England. Once this was done 
reinforcements were at once embarked although it is 
very true that they would have been of much greater 
use if they had been sent sooner. This journey took 
six weeks, three of which were spent at Dover waiting 
for a favourable wind. 

During his stay in England the quarrel with the 
puritans (as those who abhorred the ceremonies retained 
in the English Church were called) came to its height. 
Certain people so excited the Queen's feelings against 
them that she actually meditated starting a persecution. 
The Bishop of Winchester, one Thomas Cooper, grand 
almoner to Her Majesty, discussed the matters in dispute 
with M. du Plessis. M. du Plessis did much to soften 
the bishop's anger by insisting that we should bear with 
our brother in matters of indifference to the extreme 
length to which charity bade us go, so long as we did 
nothing to prejudice our faith. Even after M. du 
Plessis had returned to France the bishop wrote to him 
on the subject and sent him the thirty-nine articles of 
the Church of England set out in sixteen tables. They 
were accompanied by several books written both for and 
against these articles and the bishop begged M. du Plessis 
to give an opinion on the whole question. A paper of 
some length, written in latin, can be seen among M. du 
Plessis' papers although he excused himself from writing 
more amply because the fighting was getting lively. 

F4MILT EFENTS : 1 590-1605 273 

It looked as if his letter bore fruit for soon after this the 
puritans were left alone again. . . . 

On his return to Saumur, 1592, M. du Plessis was 
extremely pleased to find the temple, had nearly- 
reached completion during his absence, owing to my 
continual efforts, and without costing the church in 
Saumur a farthing. He had previously been obliged to 
pull down the buildings where the preachings used to be 
held, and had hired the city tennis court at a rent of 
one crown and a half for each service, whilst the new 
building was being erected on a site specially bought for 
the purpose near the Pont du Bourg. He found the 
building so far advanced that very soon after his return 
the preachings were transferred to it. I may observe 
that this was not at all to the liking of his enemies because 
they had fully expected him to seize on one of the 
churches meant for the use of Roman Catholics, which 
could have been made an occasion for scandal and com- 
plaints. But instead of doing as they expected he had 
had the patience and the enterprise to build a new 
temple, altogether. He also found that the new town 
fortifications had not made less progress than the temple, 
during his absence, at any rate considering the small 
means at our disposal. 

In 1594 the King made up his mind to make profession 
of the catholic faith, as every one knows. The views of 
M. du Plessis on the subject, which he expressed very 
freely, can be seen among his papers. In spite of this 
the King continued to urge M. du Plessis to come to 
court before the deputies from the churches met at 
Saumur, and he therefore decided to go to Chatres in 
September. His Majesty was just as friendly and told 
him all about his affairs just as freely as ever. Indeed he 
shut himself up in his chamber alone with M. du Plessis 
for three whole hours to tell him all that had happened 
and show him exactly what had moved him to take this 
step. The long and short of it all was that he had found 
himself on the very brink of a precipice through the 


intrigues of some of his own followers, whose names he 
mentioned, and saw that his only chance of escape lay in 
his conversion. But besides this he also said that the 
huguenots had not stood by him as they ought. How- 
ever, he should always regard the reformed faith and those 
who professed it just as he had always done and he hoped 
God would have mercy on him. It was abundantly 
clear that he was filled with a belief which made his 
conduct excusable, namely, that the differences between 
the two faiths were only important because of the bitter- 
ness of the preachers, and that he believed that some day by 
his own authority he could settle the quarrel between them. 
M. du Plessis pointed out by plain reasoning that this 
could only be done by the establishment of the King's 
authority coupled with the abolition of the Pope's power 
in the Gallican Church. . . . 

Early in 1596 M. du Plessis decided to make our 
principal home in the Castle of Saumur because he had 
been warned that some of the townspeople and other 
bad neighbours were plotting to seize him and make 
themselves masters of the castle. This move was most 
difficult and costly for the place was all in ruins. Some 
two months after our establishment there I began to 
suffer more acutely from my usual catarrh and I even 
feared the loss of my sight. I felt my eyes growing con- 
stantly weaker, although I saved them all I could as I 
always have done. I spared no remedy, living in con- 
stant terror lest I should be deprived of my only consola- 
tion in reading the Holy Scriptures. God will restore 
good sight to me if it is His will and if not He will Himself 
be my consolation through His Holy Spirit. 

A General Synod of the churches was held in the 
springtime of this year at Saumur, in the hall of our 
lodgings in the Town Hall which we had retained for the 
use of our friends after we had moved into the Castle. 
M. de la Touche presided over it and many well-known 
people came to it, among others M. Merlin and M. de 

FAMILY EVENTS: 1 590-1605 275 

In 1597 M. de la Verrie presented himself as a suitor 
for our daughter de Martinsart (Susanne de Pas). He is 
a gentleman from Maine of good family and of moderate 
means. She was betrothed to him on the 6th June. 
Something was also said about our other daughters by 
M. de la Tr^moille and Mme de Rohan. Our chief 
wish is, God knows, that they should wed men brought 
up in His fear. Mme de Rohan spoke of a possible 
marriage between our son and the eldest daughter of 
the late M. de Chatillon, the late Admiral Coligny's 
son. She wrote to Mme de Chatillon on the subject 
and received a favourable answer. 

Towards the end of July 1598, whilst the affair of St 
Phal was in progress, M. du Plessis published his book on 
the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. It is unbelievable 
how it upset people, especially the clergy. Some of his 
friends wanted him to print it anonymously, but, 
although he was well aware of the hatred he would 
excite, he considered that the book would be more 
widely read if he put his name to it and thereby would 
better serve to throw light on the truth. The Cardinal 
de Medici, at that time the Pope's Legate in France, who 
was on the eve of departure, took six copies with him to 
Italy. The Jesuits of Bordeaux demanded that the book 
should be forbidden and burnt by the Parlement of that 
town. They were told by M. Daffiz, the Premier 
President, that such things were no longer done but since 
they wished to defend the Fathers he advised them to 
write an answer to it. Whereupon the Jesuits divided 
the work between them so as to get through the labour. 
Boulenger, the King's almoner, attacked the preface with 
as much boldness as impudence and in order to discredit 
M. du Plessis declared most of the passages cited by him 
to be falsified. M. du Plessis wrote and printed his 
answer to this attack before he left Saumur. The most 
noise against it was made by the preachers from their 
pulpits, and especially by those of Paris during Lent, for 
in that city they never refrain from preaching sedition. 


There they did their utmost to excite the populace both 
against him and his book. In spite of them M. du Plessis 
used no circumspection in his talk while he was in Paris, 
just to show that he was quite ready to defend what he 
had written. In the matter of his citations from the 
Fathers which were said to be incorrect he offered to 
prove them within two days if the doctors and professors 
of Paris would draw up a list of the disputed passages. 
But they all excused themselves saying that they were 
prevented by certain rules and regulations and that the 
Bishop of Paris ■ had forbidden them to do any such 
thing. They went further than this, however, because 
at their prayer a letter came from Rome in which the 
Pope complained of the book whose author had dared, 
although he was one of the King's most intimate servants 
and councillors, to speak of the Pope as Antichrist. 
On this certain people pointed out the probable conse- 
quences to the King, chiefly because he had every reason 
to cultivate the Pope's goodwill both to unmarry him 
as well as to marry him again, matters which lay very 
close to the King's heart. 

In spite of these representations His Majesty never 
said a word to him about it or showed him any less 
friendliness, although it may very well have been the 
reason why he employed him less frequently in his affairs. 
The only thing His Majesty said was that he was sorry he 
could not keep him as near to his person as he would have 
liked. The King sent M. de la Force, Captain of his 
Guards, a very accomplished gentleman and M. du 
Plessis' very good friend, to discuss the publication of his 
book with him. M. du Plessis' answer was that he had 
done nothing without full consideration and had been 
quite aware of the possible results of his action, but that 
the King could be his witness that he had always ordered 
his life for God's service first and then for his King's 
and his friends'. He was not ignorant that his behaviour 
might rob him of worldly honour nor should he have 

1 Henri, Cardinal de Gondi. 

FAMILY EFENTS : 1 590-1605 277 

any reason to be surprised if it did, but God's word never 
failed him who gave honour to those who honoured God. 
Further, he had put his name to his book not from motives 
either of ambition or vanity, for the price paid for such 
things was too high, but solely that the truth might be 
more eagerly read and accepted. To conclude, if the 
King really intended, as was his duty, to cleanse the church 
from abuses it was time that the Truth was made known 
and His Majesty ought to be glad that the soil was tilled 
ready for the seed. He very affectionately begged M. de 
la Force to carry his answer back to the King. 

.... [The year 1599 found M. du Plessis still at 
court having stayed on for the marriage of the King's 
sister to the Due de Bar.] 

M. du Plessis took leave of His Majesty at Fontainebleau 
a few days before Easter to return to Saumur. Although 
the King's project for a marriage with the Duchess of 
Beaufort ' was nearly ripe yet not a word was said on 
the subject to M. du Plessis. On every other matter 
His Majesty spoke very intimately, keeping none of his 
other affairs hidden from him and treating him in the 
same way as he had always done. But although con- 
fidential in some matters the King never spoke of his 
love affairs to M. du Plessis, feeling he could not count on 
his approval. Before leaving court M. du Plessis obtained 
the King's consent to our son's going to Holland to learn 
how to serve his country. M. du Plessis did not ask for 
a commission because he wished to leave himself free to 
recall the boy at any time he liked. Our son started 
directly after the wedding of his sister, our eldest daughter, 
to Jean de Jaucourt, eldest son of the house of Villarnoul. * 
This wedding was celebrated at Saumur on April 14th, 
1599. The family of Villarnoul was very well known in 
Burgundy as an old, well connected, and well born family 
but owing to its profession of the reformed religion as 
well as to the misery of the times it did not occupy any 
very important position. We had the happiness at this 

1 Gabrielle d'Estrfes. 


same time of knowing that my younger brother (now M. 
de la Borde in place of my elder brother who was dead), 
had declared himself a professor of the true faith from 
which he had fallen in the year 1572 at the general scatter- 
ing of our churches. It was a singular consolation to me 
to see the blessing of God re-enter our family through 
His Holy Word. 

M. du Plessis had hardly reached home when the news 
of the Duchess of Beaufort's death reached us. It was 
truly a judgment of God in mercy to the King and 
Kingdom, who thus escaped the evil which all wise men 
foresaw and which no wisdom could avert. Some people 
urged M. du Plessis to write a letter of sympathy to 
His Majesty immediately the news came but he was 
unable to say anything which would please the King 
and yet would not outrage his own conscience. So he 
merely wrote to M. de Lomdnie 1 to inquire after His 
Majesty's health for he feared it might suffer through his 


On the 29th September, Brouard, our tnaitre cChotel 
whom we had sent to accompany our son, returned from 
Holland to Saumur. He brought us news especially how 
our son had been at the siege of Dorcum with Count 
William of Nassau. The town ought to have been taken 
and the country thereby enlarged had it been God's 
will to leave it in our hands. On the 6th October M. du 
Plessis travelled by post to Paris. I was determined to 
follow him with all our household in spite of my usual 
ill-health. My son and daughter de la Verrie had 
already gone to their own home to look after their own 
affairs, mainly on account of an estate which my daughter 
had bought with the dowry we had given her on her 
marriage. They took their little son with them and left 
their daughter out at nurse near Saumur, where I could 
keep a watch over her. M. du Plessis followed the King 
to Fontainebleau so soon as he reached Paris. He noticed 

1 Antoine de Lomenie, Seigneur de la Villeaux Clercs, 1560- 1638, Secre- 
tary to the King and later Secretary of State. 

FAMILY EVENTS : 1 590-1605 279 

a certain coldness in the King's manner which he put 
down to his regret that he could not treat him as he used 
to do for fear of giving offence to the catholic party. 
M. du Plessis made up his mind to take no notice of the 
change but to make at least one effort to secure some 
provision for our family. With this object in view I and 
all our household left home on the 1 2th Oct. and reached 
Paris on the 22nd. Our hope was that we might, without 
worry or delay, get our affairs finally settled, whilst God 
gave us life, so that we might leave our children some 
certain if small fruit from our past labours. As for 
settling at Court M. du Plessis neither intended nor wished 
to do so, and those who were jealous of his doing so did 
very wrong in stirring up ill-will against him instead of 
simply hastening his departure, as they could easily have 
done by expediting his business. 1 Our son and daughter 
de Villarnoul accompanied us to Paris. Soon after we 
arrived our son came back from Holland for winter had 
put a stop to the war. He saw the King and told him all 
that had passed in Holland and His Majesty appeared to 
form a high opinion of him. Our expenses were very 
heavy with so large a household but they would have 
been still heavier if we had kept up two households ; 
besides it would have been very difficult for M. du 
Plessis to have looked after me if I had stayed on at Saumur 
for my frequent illnesses were a constant source of anxiety 
to him. Even on my way to Paris I had several attacks 
which made me think I might die. A few months after 
reaching Paris I fell very ill with an illness of the liver 
on the top of all my other troubles. I owe my recovery 
to M. Marescot, under God, who, contrary to the general 
custom, bled me and gave me instant relief. The King's 
chief doctor, M. de la Ribiere, had been to see me shortly 
before and had looked into my case, but he was not very 
attentive and moreover came but rarely, and so it chanced 
that when I was recovering from this last illness I took 
some of the pills he had given me (without further 

1 This is aimed at M. de Rosny, later Due de Sully. 


advice). They had such an effect on the cause of the 
complaint that they brought on fainting fits in such 
quick succession that I was brought very near to death. 
As a result of this unfortunate occurrence he was sent for 
and came hurrying in. God turned it all for the best 
for not only did the doctor relieve my immediate 
ailment but he also from this moment made it a duty to 
attend to me. Indeed he so turned his mind on to my 
condition that he wrote a treatise describing the symptoms, 
the remedies and the proper diet which he gave to me. 
This treatise has been approved and admired by all the 
most learned doctors in the kingdom. 

As a favour to M. du Plessis the King had made my 
son, de la Verrie, a gentleman-in-waiting and we now 
obtained a like favour for our son de Villarnoul. He was 
sworn in by the Marshal de Biron, first gentleman of the 
bedchamber, and began his service at once. Sometime 
after, when the edict for the pacification of Burgundy 
was to be put in force, the King appointed him as one of 
the Commissioners. This appointment took him into 
his own country in company with M. de Vole, maitre des 
requites. He did his work to the satisfaction of the King 
and Council as also of the churches. 

M. du Plessis managed to do this much for our family 
but his credit was at a very low ebb as regards himself. 
It can be truthfully said that during his whole stay in 
Paris the King never employed him in any affairs of state 
although occasions offered. It was thought strange by 
even important men of the contrary religion that he was 
not included among those who were selected to carry 
through the negotiations with the Duke of Savoy over 
the Marquisate of Saluces. The presence of the Nuncio 
and the Patriarch in Paris, both of whom reiterated as 
occasion served the Pope's dislike of M. du Plessis, fur- 
nished the King with a reason for not employing him, 
but it would have been kinder to have asked him to absent 
himself for a time, and, so as to facilitate his withdrawal, 
to have hastened the settlement of the business which 

FAMILY EVENTS: 1 590-1605 281 

detained him in Paris. This business was the present- 
ment of claims for money advanced by M. du Plessis for 
the King's service and allowed by the Chambre des 
Comptes of Paris. His sole duty was to sit on the Council, 
chiefly when questions arising from the Edict of Nantes 
came up for decision which for the most part were left 
for him and the Chancellor to settle without calling in 
further advice. The rest of his time he gave to our 
private affairs. M. de Rosny's harshness, alike in things 
just and unjust, was a constant annoyance to him. It 
was all the worse because the fact that M. de Rosny had 
married our niece ought to have made him more con- 
siderate, especially as he had succeeded to a post formerly 
held by M. du Plessis. But jealousy which has no founda- 
tion ignores all claims. 

Very soon a change came over the King not only in 
regard to M. du Plessis, but to all who professed the 
reformed religion. His Majesty even took trouble 
gladly to turn the gentlemen in attendance on him from 
their faith, telling them plainly that he could do nothing 
for their advancement so long as they remained outside 
the Catholic Church. 

[M. du Plessis remained entirely out of favour at Court. 
He busied himself with his governorship of Saumur, 
with his duties as surintendant of Navarre and, above 
all, with the affairs of the huguenot Church. His son, 
growing up, was fretting for employment. In 1605 his 
chance seemed at last to be coming. Henri IV's diffi- 
culties with the Duke of Bouillon (Turenne) made it 
advisable to conciliate such leaders of the huguenot party 
as du Plessis.] 

In January 1605 a letter came from M. de Rosny to 
M. du Plessis. It summoned our son to Paris by the 
King's command, as a regiment was to be raised for service 
in the Low Countries to which he was to be appointed. 
The matter, however, was to be kept secret. M. du 
Plessis wrote to our son, who was in Paris, that he must 
present himself as soon as possible. His Majesty told 


him that he intended to raise three regiments in the spring 
of which he was to have one. Our son immediately 
began to think over those whom he should like to serve 
under him, and gentlemen and captains of the highest 
quality offered themselves on every side. But after all 
the scheme was given up. The Spanish ambassador pro- 
tested that if anything of the sort was attempted his 
master would declare war on the very next day, while 
the Nuncio said that the Pope had guaranteed the peace, 
which he himself had made, between the two Kings. 
Moreover, just at this time Pope Clement VIII died. 
He was succeeded by the Cardinal of Florence, under 
the name of Leo IX, 1 on whose election (unheard of in 
France hitherto !) fireworks were let off and salutes 
fired from the Arsenal. Leo IX lived but a few days, 
to the King's great grief, even to the shedding of tears. 
The election had cost him 300,000 francs in bribes to the 
cardinals. And being in great doubt of another pope who 
would favour him he gave up all thought of going to war. 
At this same time the Sieur de Martonie, a gentleman 
of Perigord, with whom we had been at law on the King's 
behalf, and whom we thought we had obliged in several 
ways, so far forgot himself as to challenge our son to a duel. 
All the authorities on duelling thought the Sieur de la 
Martonie behaved very ill. On the other hand, our son 
bore himself with so much discretion and frankness that 
His Majesty and all competent judges of such affairs, 
held that he had failed in nothing, neither in courage nor 
in good sense. In short, his antagonist was taken a 
prisoner to Fort l'Esveque by the King's command and 
was in danger of losing his head, while our son was only 
confined to his lodging and soon after set completely at 
liberty. While he was in confinement he was visited by a 
crowd of friends of both religions and of the highest 
quality. It seemed as if this occurrence, however unfor- 
tunate, was sent to show how highly the budding worth 
of this youth was already recognized. It was widely 

1 Alexander di Medici. 

FAMILY EVENTS: 1 590-1605 283 

noticed, however, that, contrary to custom, our son was 
set at liberty, with leave to go where he would, without 
any formal reconciliation with his enemy. Some people 
thought it strange that we should be left with this thorn 
in our side. As for his antagonist the King granted him 
his life after a little while, ordering him, as a punishment, 
to serve for two years in Hungary against the Turk, 
which however he never did. 

When our son saw that the levy of the three regiments 
came to nothing he determined to ask permission to offer 
himself for service in the Low Countries as a private 
person. The King willingly granted his request and, 
when he came to receive His Majesty's commands, spoke 
very kindly to him and gave him leave of absence to say 
good-bye to us. The truth is we were more willing he 
should start on this journey because we saw how he fretted 
at idleness, and that he was almost ready to die of chagrin 
whenever a chance of proving his worth escaped him. We 
had been quite afraid at the time of the siege of Ostend 
when we were obliged to keep him with us for really 
important matters. . . . 

I left my poor son on the point of embarking at Dieppe 
on his way to the Low Countries. The two armies of 
Prince Maurice and the Marquis of Spinola passed the 
whole summer entrenched face to face, scarcely two hun- 
dred paces apart in places and daily saluting the dawn 
with their cannon, one before Sluys and the other before 
Bruges. But nothing else was done. My son was weary 
of inaction although he seized on every chance, however 
small, of risking himself. He fell so ill of a tertiary fever 
that his friends were alarmed. In September, weak 
though he was, he followed the army to Friesland whither 
Spinola had gone on leaving his entrenchments, and 
whither Prince Maurice had followed him. Spinola's 
first exploit was the taking of Olderzed, a small place ; 
then Linghen, a larger one where the people had shown 
great patience in holding out in the hope of succour, 
but which was poorly defended by the garrison. This 



capture threatened Groningen, an important town. 
William of Nassau, governor of the province, threw his 
troops into it to relieve the siege, and our son, whom he 
held in great affection, went with him. On the 9th of 
October Prince Maurice left his camp with all his cavalry 
and part of his infantry to capture the cavalry of the Mar- 
quis of Trivulzio. As ill-luck would have it our son 
could not go with him, because two days previously, while 
chasing an enemy convoy, he had been hurt on the ankle 
by a kick from a horse he was leading. It set up a great 
bruise and inflammation and though he was determined to 
be carried on this expedition his friends would not let 
him go. The fight was very uncertain, death and flight 
on both sides, and while some won honour others only 
won disgrace. However much our son tried to hide 
his feelings in his letters, we could read between the lines 
how vexed he was to miss the very first affair of any 
importance. We could easily see that we should not see 
him home again until he had had another chance. 

On the 22nd October, while he was still laid up with 
his hurt, news came that Prince Maurice intended to 
attack Geldern on the following night. Overjoyed at the 
prospect of a better action than the one he had missed, 
our son determined to take part in it, in spite of his lame- 
ness. To make sure of getting there he secured a place 
in the wagon which was loaded with the petards for the 
attack on the town. La Grise, who had been bred as a 
page by M. du Plessis, went with him. They came before 
Geldern on October 23rd at dawn of day. The curtain 
(of the town wall) was lit up with torches and the fire of 
arquebuses. This, however, did not deter them. The 
engineers advanced. Captain Sault led the first dozen 
men armed with pistols and cuirasses. Our son, who 
esteemed the Captain very highly, ranked himself as his 
soldier for that day and went with him at the head of the 
little troop. The first petard exploded at the first barrier 
but only blackened it. The second made an opening for 
them to get in, but not without some confusion, because 

TAM1LY EVENTS: i 590-1605 285 

the second petard had its font made specially for the 
town gate. As the engineer went back for the third he 
cried, " Make way " so as to leave himself room to pass. 
Some of the less bold thought he meant to shout 
" Retreat " and so left the position empty. Our son, 
at the edge of the town ditch, waved his sword and 
shouted to rally them, but at that very moment he was 
shot in the chest and, pierced to the heart, he fell without 
a sound. La Grise, who supported him, was struck 
by the same shot and was mortally wounded. Our son 
was borne away immediately by the rest in their retreat. 

Happy end for him, born in the Church of God, 
nourished in His fear, noted for his worth while yet so 
young, lost in a righteous quarrel and in an honourable 
action. But for us the beginning of a sorrow which s/ 
can only end in death, with no other consolation but what 
the fear and the grace of God can give us while we chew 
the bitter cud of our grief. . . . 

And here it is fitting that my book should end. It 
was written for him, to describe the pilgrimage of our lives, 
and now God has willed that his life should end so soon 
and so sweetly. And truly did I not fear M. du Plessis' 
grief, whose love for me grows as my sorrow grows, I 
would fain not survive him. 

An Afterword 

Du Plessis outlived his wife seventeen years, but he was 
not left either alone nor in idleness, as the very numerous 
letters written both by him and to him which have been 
preserved, abundantly prove. His daughters, his grand- 
children and his great-grandchildren surrounded him 
with family affection and the protestant Churches held 
his name in honour to the end. For the first fifteen 
years after his wife's death he lived on at Saumur, whose 
governorship was the meagre reward of his years of 
devotion, but in 1621 even this was taken from him. 
The huguenots were once again at war, and though it 
is little likely that du Plessis' loyalty was doubted, yet 
Louis XIII. preferred to see the city in catholic hands. 
The old governor left his home for thirty years and 
went to end his days at his chateau of la Forest sur 
Sevre. His last days were described by his secretary in 
a tiny book, and the final glimpse of the old man can 
fittingly be seen through eyes no less admiring than those 
of the chronicler of his active years. Those who have so 
far followed the fortunes of a huguenot family may like 
to see them gathered together for the last time. 

" By a premonition sent from God M. du Plessis 
wrote a codicil on the 14th Oct., in which for the peace 
of the family and for the edification of those who sur- 
vived him, he explained his last wishes, but owing to 
various interruptions he was not able to sign the document 
before the 5th Nov. ' Now,' said he, when it was done, 
1 I am freed from a great responsibility and there is 
nothing left for me to do but die.' And in fact he took 
to his bed the following day, sick of a continuous fever. 
The doctors warned us on Thursday the 9th of the month 


that his condition was such that, humanly speaking, he 
would never rise again. God left him with us yet forty- 
eight hours which he so wholly devoted to thinking of his 
salvation that he scarcely heeded anything else. On 
this 9th Nov. Madame de Villarnoul, his eldest daughter, 
came to his bedside and asked if he would have a minister 
to speak words of comfort to him. The minister of the 
neighbouring church came, on her invitation, to warn 
him of his approaching end and to prepare him to submit 
to God's will. But it is worthy of note that the pastor 
was so troubled himself with the sad news that he blurted 
it out without that circumlocution which it is usual to 
employ on such occasions. M. du Plessis was in nowise 
disturbed, but with a countenance full of assurance 
replied : ' Is this truth ? I am content.' A little later 
his daughters and their husbands came about his bed. 
In a firm voice he gave his blessing to his daughters and 
his sons-in-law bidding them live in unity. Then praying 
God to confirm his benediction he blessed his grand- 
children both present and absent, his nephew and his 
nephew's wife, his household and his servants, not for- 
getting his doctor who had always attended him faith- 
fully and carefully in all his illnesses, even in this last one. 
He charged the pastor to write to Madame des Nozers, 
the late Madame du Plessis' daughter by her first marriage, 
a letter bearing his blessing to her and her whole family. 
Soon after he bethought him of Madame de L'Isle, 
daughter of Mme de Villarnoul, regretting that he could 
not see her and her children to bless them also. On 
those of his grandsons who had studied or were studying 
he called down the blessings of heaven above and the 
earth beneath. Many were the words he spoke, not 
only in his own tongue, but in Greek and Latin and 
Hebrew, quoting the Scriptures freely and sometimes 
Aristotle and Pindar. When Friday the 10th Nov. 
came he opened the day with the prayer, ' Domine aperi 
labia mea ut annunciem laudem tuam,' nor did he linger 
very long after this." 

Mlle du Plessis' Letter to her Son 
Philippe de Mornay 
In Dedication of her Book 
My Son, 

God is my witness that He filled me, even before your 
birth, with the hope that you would be born to be His servant, 
and in some measure this should be an earnest of His grace, and 
an admonition to you to do your duty. To this intent your 
father and I have laboured to bring you up in His fear, making 
you suckle it with your milk so far as lay in our power ; and 
furthermore to render you more apt we took pains to give you a 
good education. In this, thanks be to Him, we have met with 
fair success, so that you may not only live but may even be a 
light in His Church. Now when I behold you ready to set out to 
see the world for yourself, to learn the ways of men and the state 
of nations, not being able to follow you any longer with my eyes 
I shall still follow you with the same solicitude, and pray that the 
same teaching will also follow with you wheresoever you go, so 
that you may grow in the fear and love of God ; may gain profit 
from all things good through knowledge of Him ; may strengthen 
yourself in your vocation for His service to which He has called 
you ; and may repay by winning glory and honour for Him every- 
thing which He has given you hitherto or shall give you hereafter. 
It is His gift that you are born in His Church, a gift denied to so 
many nations and to so many great men. My son, give praise 
reverently for this privilege of being born a Christian. He willed 
you to be born in the full light of the Church, freed from the 
Kingdom of darkness, and from the tyranny of the Antichrist 
who has held so many nations in the mists of error for so many 
centuries. The great ones of the earth, the princes of this genera- 
tion for the most part still lie in the mire. Therefore give praise 
once more with me for this mercy, for this special care which God 
showed you in that He freed you from this apostasy which has 
usurped His power over so many nations for so many long years. 
But you He caused to be born of a father whom He has chosen 
for His servant in these days now present, and who will continue 


to serve Him for His glory's sake ; a father who dedicated you to 
His service from your childhood ; who educated you in piety 
and doctrine as befitted your years, and who, to sum up, has left 
nothing undone, both by earnest prayer to God and by unfailing 
care in your instruction to render you fit, when the day comes, to 
do His work. 

Bethink you that by these means God may will to bring you to 
great deeds ; bethink you that you, in your turn, may be an 
instrument for that restoration of His Church which cannot 
tarry much longer. Lift up your soul to this end and be sure, 
O my son, that God will help you ; be sure that in seeking Him 
you will never fail to meet Him coming to meet you ; be sure 
that in striving for His glory you will win your own in greater 
measure than the whole world can give or even promise. But 
fear also His judgments if you neglect Him, or if you are ungrate- 
ful for the grace He bestows on you ; for mercy disdained returns 
in rebuke, and the more special a blessing is so much the more is 
our disdain or our abuse of it meet for punishment. You are yet 
young, my son, and in youth the mind is full of fancies, but remem- 
ber the words of the Psalmist : 

" Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way : even by 
ruling himself after thy word." (Ps. 119: v. 9.) And be not 
led astray by persons who would turn you to right or to left but 
say again with the Psalmist : 

" I will dwell with those who keep thy laws ; thy laws O Lord 
will be my counsel." ' 

But so that you may not be without a guide I herewith give J 
you one, made with my own hand, to keep you company, the which 
is your father's example, and which I adjure you both to keep 
always before your eyes, and to follow it. To ensure this I have 
been at pains to write out for you all that I have been able to 
learn about his life, in spite of the unhappiness of the times which 
has so often interrupted our companionship, in suchwise that you 
may at least know the grace which God has shown him and the 
zeal and affection with which he has used it, so that you, in your 
turn, may hope for like assistance whensoever you resolve to 
serve Him with your whole heart. I am ailing and it is not to 
be expected that God will leave me long in this world. Keep this 
writing in memory of me. And when I am gone from you, in 
God's own time, I want you to finish that which I have begun to 
write concerning our lives. But above all, my son, I shall know 
that you will be thinking of me whenever tidings reach me that 

1 The above verse cannot be traced as quoted by Mile du Plessis. 




you, wheresoever you may be, are serving God and following in 
your father's steps. I shall gladly go down to the tomb whenever 
God calls me, if I can see you on the certain way to advance His 
glory, whether it be in aiding your father in his holy work so long 
as God spares him (and I pray he may yet have long years to serve 
God and be a guide to you through the ways of this world), or 
whether he lives again in you, should it be God's will that you 
survive him. 

To conclude. I commend your sisters to you. Show them 
by loving them well that you do love, and will always love, your 
mother. Remember that, young as you are, were God to take us 
away you would have to be a father to them. I pray God, my 
son, that He will grant that you all live in His fear and in love of 
one another. In this confidence I give you my blessing, and with 
my whole heart implore God to bless my blessing for the sake of His 
Son, Jesus Christ, and that He will pour out His Holy Spirit upon 

Written at Saumur, this 25th of April 1595. 

Your very good mother, 



Letter from Mlle du Plessis to 
M. de la Court 

M. de la Court, 

I beg you to be so good as to buy for me, through 
the kind offices of Madame de la Court, your wife, two little 
caps for children first and second size, and to have two pairs 
of leading-strings also made of very fine white serge, one to be 
lined with white satin and the other with a thin taffeta ; there 
should be a cap to match as well. I also want four dozen laces 
" de la chambre de comptes," * the best, and a hundred and 
fifty needles of all sizes. Get a velvet bonnet made for me to 
wear with two gauze nets spangled with gold and silver, and 
two satin caps " de cornettes " well made and turned back in 
front so that the gauze is not hidden. I also want two wigs of 
light chestnut hair, one for wearing with a cap " de cornettes " 
which should be very low and flat in the middle, and the other 
for wearing with a gauze coif. I beg you to be so very kind as 

1 Would this be analogous to red tape of Treasury quality ? 



to do all these things for me as quickly as you can. They should 
be put in a box well corded and given to M. le Gras, who will 
convey them to Bordeaux. I have already written to him 
about it. 

I commend me to your good offices and also to Madame de 
la Court's, and pray God to keep you safe. 

Your loving and good friend, 


NfiRAC, Oct. 17, 1587. 



AlenCjON, see Valois, Francois de 

Anjou, see Henri III, also Valois, Fr. de 

Antwerp, arrival of du Plessis and his 
family in, 172 ; Burgomaster of, 
prevents du Plessis from leaving, 182 ; 
French fury at, 188 

Arbaleste, Seigneur - Vicomte de la 
Borde Melun, 9 ; hears Luther in early 
life, III I in. Magdalene Chevalier, 
III) an honourable judge, III; 
arrested as a huguenot, 112; pro- 
perty injured by Duke of Guise, 112; 
conversion of, 1 12, 1 13 ; death of, 1 14, 
120; escapes from Paris, 1567, 117 

Arbaleste, Guy, Vicomte de la Borde 
Melun, professes Catholicism at 
massacre of St Bartholomew, 124; 
tries to convert his sister Charlotte, 
129 ; consents to her marriage with 
du Plessis, 144 

Arbaleste, Mile de Vaucelas, III, 
114, 120 

Arbaleste, Charlotte, m. 1st Jean 
de Pas de Feuqueres, 2nd Philippe 
de Mornay du Plessis Marly. First 
meeting of, with du Plessis, 20, 140 ; 
travels by coach, 35, 182, 191 ; 
comes to Montauban, 64, 194 ; dis- 
pute with huguenot ministers, 64- 
72, 198-217 ; marriage of with de 
Feuqueres, 1 1 4, 118; birth of Suzanne 
de Pas, 120; death of de Feuqueres, 
120 ; escape of, from massacre of St 
Bartholomew, 121- 130; sets out for 
Sedan, 129 ; wooing of, by du Plessis, 
143-145 ; asks leave of her family 
to marry, 144 ; wedding of, 156 ; 
returns to France, 157 ; birth of 
Marthe de Mornay, 163 ; joins du 
Plessis in England, 168 ; crosses to 
Antwerp, 180; not allowed to leave 
Antwerp, 182 ; regret at leaving 
Flanders, 184 ; serious illness of, at 
Rouen, 191 ; begins writing her 
memoirs, 1584, 194; appeals to con- 
sistory and synod on subject of false 
hair, 206, 212-217, confession of 
Faith of, 208-211 ; treatment of, by 
consistory of Montauban, 211 ; goes 
to neighbouring town for Communion 

Sunday, 217 ; birth and death of 
daughter at Montauban, 224 ; ditto 
at La Rochelle, 227 ; goes to Beam, 
229 ; arrives in Saumur, 239 ; builds 
protestant ' temple ' at Saumur, 273 ; 
comes to Paris, 278 ; severe illness 
of, 279 ; consoled by her younger 
brother's return to the protestant 
faith, 278 ; describes campaign of 
her son in Low Countries, 283-285 ; 
letter to her son, 288 ; letter ordering 
two new wigs, 290 

Aumont, J. de, Marshal of France, 
guarantees Henri de Navarre's safety 
at Tours, 238 

Avelles, M. des, Governor of Castle of 
Sedan, 141 ; son of, at battle of 
Dormans, 151 

Balzac, Charles de, see Entragues 

Beauregard, Captain, discloses plots of 
Spain and Savoy against France, 191 

Bee Crespin, Vice-Admiral of France, 
Sieur de Wardes, 7, 81 

Bee Crespin, Francoise de, marriage of, 
with Jacques de Mornay de Buhy, 8, 
81 ; converts her husband at his 
death-bed, 82 ; professes reformed 
religion, 83, 88 ; chooses lutheran 
tutor for her sons, 83 ; in Paris on 
Eve of St Bartholomew, 104 ; takes 
refuge with her brother, 109; con- 
sents to du Plessis marriage, 144 j 
arbitrates in division of husband's 
property, 194 ; death of, 271 

Bee, Philippe de, Bishop of Vannes, 
1559, of Nantes, 1566, Archbishop of 
Rheims, 1598, early leanings towards 
reformed religion, 88, 90 ; tries to 
convert du Plessis, 90 ; supports du 
Plessis against St Phal, 258 

Berault, M., minister of Montauban, 
quarrel with Mile du Plessis, 199-217 

Bergen-op-Zoom, defence of, by du 
Plessis, 181 

Blois, Estates General at, 229 ; Duke 
of Guise assassinated at, 229 

Borde, de la, see Arbaleste 

Borde, M. de la, a Burgundian, takes 
du Plessis prisoner at Dormans, 1 50 



Bouillon, see Marck, de la ; Tour 
d'Auvergne, de la ; Bourbon Mont- 

Bourbon, Antoine de, King of Navarre, 

Bourbon, Charles de, Cardinal de, 24 ; 
attempt to recognise him as heir to 
Henri III, 52 ; unfriendly to Henri 
de Navarre, 196 ; taken prisoner 
by du Plessis, 241-243 

Bourbon, Charles de, Comte de Soissons, 
grief of, at Conde's death, 228 ; 
attempts to secure Cardinal de 
Bourbon, 243 

Bourbon, Catherine de, sister of King 
of Navarre, Philip II proposes marri- 
age with, 187 ; Mile du Plessis visits 
her in Beam, 229 ; agrees to gift of 
Duchy of Vendome to Caesar, Henri's 
son, 261 ; marriage of, to Due de Bar, 

Bourbon, Henri de, King of France 
and Navarre, see Henri IV 

Bourbon, Henri de, Prince de Conde, 
escape of, from French Court, 5 1 , 1 38 ; 
delays du Plessis' journey to England, 
165 ; anger of, with du Plessis, 226 ; 
death of, 228 

Bourbon, Louis de, Prince de Conde, 
pursueshis personal ambitions through 
the huguenot party, 23, 24 ; death 
of, at Battle of Jarnac, 26, 48; lodges 
at M. de la Borde's house, III; 
employs M. de Feuqueres in " Second 
Troubles," 1567, 117 

Bourbon Montpensier, Francoise de, 
wife of H. de la Marck Duke of 
Bouillon, visits her husband on his 
death-bed, 142 ; sends du Plessis on 
mission to Cleves, 142 ; approves du 
Plessis' conduct, 155 

Bourdeille, Pierre de, Seigneur Abbe de 
Brantome, praise of Queen of Nav- 
arre, 27, 69 ; Discours des Duels by, 


Brancas, Andre de, Sieur de Villars, 

l6 5 
Brantome, Abbe de, see Bourdeille 

Briconnet, Guillaume de, bishop of 

Meaux, 3-5 
Brissac, see Cosse 
Buhy, Chateau of, II, 12 
Buhy, see Mornay 
Bussy d'Amboise, Louis de Clermont, 

quarrel over flag with Turenne, 

Buzenval, Paul Choart de, friendship 

of du Plessis with, 186 

Calvin, opinions of, in regard to law- 
ful authority, 23 

Casaubon, Isaac, appointed as sup- 
porter to du Plessis at public dis- 
cussion on " l'Eucharistie," 58 

Catherine di Medici, the Queen Mother, 
character and training of, 27-28 ; 
indifference to religion, 29 ; family 
ambition of, 29-30 ; love of riding, 
35 ; contest with Coligny, 47 ; anger 
of, with du Plessis and his brother 
on account of the plot of St Germain, 
160 ; angry at du Plessis' advice to 
Alencon, 163; Henri III takes du 
Plessis to visit, 193; unfriendly reply 
to King of Navarre's letter on 
Alencon's death, 197 

Caylus (Quelus) Jacques, Comte de, 
mignon of Henri III, 75 

Charles IX, King of France, struggle 
between various parties for control 
of, 25, 27, 47 ; assures Coligny of 
his affection, 48 ; death of, 139 

Chatillon, see Coligny 

Chavigny, M. de, Governor of Chinon, 
has charge of Cardinal de Bourbon, 
241-243 ; wife of, acts as Governor, 


Chevalier, Charles de, Sieur d'Esprunes, 
killed in the massacre of St Barth- 
olomew, 121 

Chevalier, Magdalene, Mile, de la 
Borde, mother of Charlotte, Mile, 
du Plessis, 1 1 1 ; behaviour of, at 
massacre of St Bartholomew, 123- 
125 ; agrees to Charlotte's marriage 
to du Plessis, 144, death of 271 

Chevalier, Pierre de, Bishop of Senlis, 
at massacre of St Bartholomew, 121 

Chinon, Cardinal de Bourbon im- 
prisoned at, 241 

Coligny, Gaspard de, Admiral de 
Chatillon, foreign policy of, 47 ; 
jealousy of Duke of Anjou of, 48 ; 
assassination of, 48, 49, 104 ; receives 
du Plessis in Paris, 103 

Coligny, Odetde, Cardinal de Chatillon, 
library of, burnt, 94 

Coligny, Paul de, Comte de Laval, 
159 ; sent with du Plessis on mission 
to Henri III, 195 ; death of, 

Cooper, Thomas, Bishop of Winchester, 
discusses thirty-nine articles with du 
Plessis, 273 

Concordat of 1516, effect on Church in 
France of, 5-7 

Conde, see Bourbon 



Confession of Faith, written by Mile. 

du Plessis, 208-211 
Cosse, Charles de, Comte de Brissac, 

Marshal of France, sets M. de la 

Borde free, 112 
Cosse, Charles de, Duke and Marshal 

de Brissac, meets du l'lessis at 

Angers, 253 ; allows St Phal to 

escape, 255 ; friendly to du Plessis 

after St Phal affair, 269 
Coutras, battle of, 226 

Deux Ponts, or Zweibriicke, Wolf- 
gang of Bavaria, Duke of, march of, 
to LaCharite, 119, 120 

Devereux, Robert, Earl of Essex, 
Elizabeth's infatuation for, 272 

Dormans, battle of, du Plessis taken 
prisoner at, 149 

Dress, interference of huguenot min- 
isters with, 64-72, 199-217 ; extrava- 
gance of, 68, 7 1 

Duels, frivolous causes of, 73, duel of 
'les mignons' 75 ; duels fought by 
de Viteaux, 76, 77 

Edict of Nantes, Henri IV's policy 
in regard to, 264 

Education of boys, at school, 16, as 
pages, 17 

Elizabeth, Queen of England, subsi- 
dises huguenots, 53 ; du Plessis sent 
on mission to, 165, 168, 177 ; high 
esteem of du Plessis, 178 ; refuses 
troops for siege of Rouen, 27 1 ; con- 
sents if Essex returns, 272 

England, du Plessis visits, 43, 102, 109, 
167, 177, 271 ; Duke of Anjou 
(Alencon) visits, 177, 178 

Entragues, Charles de Balzac, mignon 
of Henri III, 75 

Erasmus, influence on reformation of, 
in France, 3, 5 ; story of his land- 
lady's false curls, 71 

Estates General, attempt of League to 
control, 161 

Estrees, Gabrielle de, Duchess of Beau- 
fort, marriage of her son Casar, 261, 
death of, 278 

Evreux, Jacques Davy, Bishop of, 
Cardinal de Perron, Conference de 
Fontainebleau, 58 

Ferrier, Arnand du, Chancellor of 
Navarre, first meeting with du Plessis 
in Venice, 33 ; conversion of, 33, 187 

Feuqueres, see Pas 

Foix, Paul de, Ambassador to Sig- 
nory of Venice, 95 ; shelters in the 
Louvre during the massacre of St 
Bartholomew, 105 ; recommends du 
Plessis to King of Navarre, 162 ; 
warns du Plessis of danger, 165 

Francois II, King of France, 25 ; 
Sieur of Feuqueres page of, 1 16 ; 
death of, 116 

Furniture, in 16th century, 15 

Gkldern, Philippe de Mornay, the 

younger, killed at, 285 
Ghent, troubles in, caused by Imbize, 
172; Mornay family come to, 176; 
attacked by Governor of Gravelines, 
1 78 ; resolution to renounce obedience 
to Spain by Low Countries taken at, 

Gonzaque, Louis de, Duke of Nevers, 
takes part in massacre of St Barth- 
olomew, 122 

Goyon, J. de, Marshal de Matignon, 
kindly reception of Mile, du Plessis 
by, 224 

Guast (Gua), r Louis Beranger de, 
mignon of Duke of Anjou (Henri 
III), murder of, by de Viteaux, 77 

Guise, see Lorraine 

Henri III, King of France, Duke of 
Anjou, jealous of Coligny, 48 ; share 
in the massacre of St Bartholomew, 
49 : murder of, 50 ; attempt to 
assume leadership of League, 51, 
162 ; extravagant taste in dress of, 
69 ; distress at distruction of a scent 
factory, 72 ; elected King of Poland, 
133 ; du Plessis sends him the book 
on pedigree of Lorraine, 184 ; sends 
Queen of Navarre from Court, 190 ; 
missions of du Plessis to, 190, 191 ; 
efforts to meet plots of Spain and 
the League, 192 ; offers du Plessis 
100,000 francs, 193 ; concessions to 
huguenots won by du Plessis from, 
196; indecision of, in regard to 
League, 220 ; driven from Paris on 
Journee des Barricades, 229 ; has 
Guise assassinated, 229 ; meeting of, 
with King of Navarre at Tours, 236 ; 
assassination of, 240 
Henri IV, King of Navarre, and later 
of France, at battle of Coutras, 23, 
226 ; marriage of, 47, 103 ; poverty 
of, 54 ; makes fun of his wife, 55 ; 
high esteem of du Plessis, 56 ; 
religious tolerance of, 57 ; 2nd 



marriage of, 57 ; anger at publica- 
tion of du Plessis' book on the 
Eucharist, 57, 281 ; regular scheme 
of life devised for, by du Plessis, 
59 ; escape from French Court 
planned, 134; du Plessis enters 
service of, 162 ; character defended 
by du Plessis in England, 170; 
allows du Plessis to stay longer in 
Low Countries, 182 ; offers du 
Plessis seals of Navarre, 186 ; 
Philip II of Spain proposes alliance 
with, 187 ; warned of the League 
by Spanish envoys, 188; appoints 
du Plessis surintendant, 189 ; sends 
du Plessis on missions to Henri III, 
190, 192-194 ; proposes to settle 
war of the League by a duel of 
champions, 220; blames du Plessis' 
conduct of the war, 223 ; nursed by 
du Plessis in serious illness, 232 ; 
marches on the Loire, 235 ; meeting 
of, with Henri III, 238 ; charges 
du Plessis to secure Cardinal de 
Bourbon, 241 ; delight at du Plessis' 
success, 244 ; deterred by du Plessis 
from merging his patrimony in the 
crown, 247 ; battle of Ivry, 248 ; 
promises du Plessis justice on St 
Phal, 259 ; gives duchy of Vendome 
to his son Caesar, 261 ; policy of, in 
regard to Edict of Nantes, 264 ; 
conversion of, 273 ; grief at death 
of Duchess of Beaufort, 278 ; hugue- 
nots out of favour with, 281 ; plans 
to raise three regiments for service in 
Low Countries, 281 ; grief of, at 
death of Leo IX, 282 ; gives du 
Plessis' son permission to volunteer 
for service in Low Countries, 283 

Hopital, Michel de 1', chancellor, 
tolerance of, 28 ; soldiers quartered 
on, 1572, 128 

Huguenot Church and religion, origin 
of, in catholic reformation, 3-5 ; 
great influence of women in, 4 ; 
Catherine di Medici's position in 
regard to, 28, 29 ; Calvin's influence, 
23 ; growth of democracy in, 50, 51 ; 
savage war waged by, 5 1 \ spread 
of, among middle classes, 65 ; alli- 
ance of, with Duke of Alencon, 
133, 157; general synods of, 185; 
proposed approach to other pro- 
testant Churches, 1 86, 189; General 
Assembly held at Montauban, 194 ; 
confession of faith held by, 208-21 1 ; 
payment of ministers, 236 

Imbizb, J. VAN, stirs up Ghent against 
the Estates of the Low Countries, 172 

Inns, described by Montaigne and Fynes 
Moryson, 37-40 ; Mile du Plessis stops 
at inn, 127 

Ivry, battle of, 248-251 

John, Don, of Austria, stirs up Low 

Countries, 169 
Joyeuse, Anne de, Duke of, campaign 

of 1585, 221 ; campaign of Coutras, 


Languet, Hubert, first meeting with 
du Plessis, 32 ; friendship with Sir 
Philip Sidney, 32 ; in Paris at mas- 
sacre of St Bartholomew, 131 ; death 
of at Antwerp, 181 

La Noue, Francois de, describes edu- 
cation of boys, 17 ; begs du Plessis 
to return to France, 133 ; joint efforts 
of, with du Plessis against the League, 
161 ; recommends du Plessis to King 
of Navarre, 162 ; wife of, escorted 
on her journey south by du Plessis, 
163, 164 ; taken prisoner, 176, 177 

League, The, Henri, Duke of Guise, 
leader of, 25 ; founded to prevent a 
huguenot succession to the crown, 
51 ; founded in Picardy, 160 ; attempts 
to control Estates General by, 161 ; 
treaties between Spain and, 188; war 
of the, 219 ; indecision of Henri III 
in regard to, 220 

Lefevre d'Etaples, Jacques, 1455- 1 537, 
associated with Briconnet in reform 
of Church, 3-5 ; translation of Bible 

by, 7 
L'Estoile, Pierre de, discription of the 

duel of the King's " mignons," 75 
Le Ronne, M. Victor, description of 

Chateau of Buhy, 12 
Livarot, Jean d'Arces, mignon of Henri 

HI, 75 
Lizi, M. de, arranges marriage between 

du Plessis and Charlotte Arbaleste, 

144 ; collects troops to assist Duke of 

Alencon, 156 
London, description of, 44, du Plessis 

and his family in, 168 
Lorraine, Dukes of, Pedigree from 

Charlemagne claimed for, 52, 184 
Lorraine, Charles de, Cardinal of, 25 
Lorraine, Charlesde, Duke of Mayenne, 

du Plessis to be delivered up to, 155 ; 

campaign of 1586, 222 ; leader of the 

League, 233 ; attack on Tours by, 239 
Lorraine, Francois de, Duke of Guise, 



position of in France, 24, 25 ; assassi- 
nated 1563, 26 

Lorraine, Henri de, Duke of Guise, 
leader of the League, 25, 51, share 
of, in assassination of Coligny, 47, 
49 ; Pedigree from Charlemagne 
claimed by, 52, 184 ; destroys pro- 
perty of M. de la Borde, 112; at the 
massacre of St Bartholomew, 122; 
campaign of Dormans, 146-150; 
turns France upside down, 1579, 173 ; 
hired assassin of, 193 ; assassinated 
at Blois, 229 

Louis XIII, takes governorship of 
Saumur from du Plessis, 286 

Lusignan, ruins of castle of, 164 

Mademoiselle, title used by married 

women before 17th century, 14, 15 
Madon, Marguerite, nurse to du Plessis, 

"Malcontents," party of the Duke of 

Alencon, J 51 
Marck, Guillaume de la, Duke of 

Bouillon, 183 
Marck, Henri Robert de la, Duke of 

Bouillon, death of at Sedan, 141 ; 

arranges for safety of Sedan after 

his death, 141 
Marguerite d'Angouleme, Queen of 

Navarre, sister Francois I, 1492- 1 549; 

influence on the reformation of, 3, 4 
Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre, 

learning of, praised by Brant6me, 27 ; 

marriage of, 47, 103 ; her menagerie, 

55 ; magnificence of her dress, 69, 

quarrels with Henri III, 190 
Marshals' Court, 265-267 
Matignon, see Goyon 
Maugiron, Louis de, mignon of Henri 

"I. 75 

Menneville, de, holds a disputation 
with du Plessis, 91 

Mercenaries, doubtful advantage of, 53 ; 
money for, granted by Queen of 
England, 177 ; defeat of, after battle 
of Coutras, 227 ; take part in battle 
of Ivry, 248 

Merlin, huguenot minister, 185 

Metellus, Jean, loses du Plessis' manu- 
scripts, 98, 102 ; driven from Low 
Countries by Cardinal Granville, 101 

Millaud,duel of, with Baron de Viteaux, 

Minier, Jacques, servant to M. Tambon- 
neau, helps in escape of Charlotte 
Arbaleste from Paris, 124, 127 

Ministers of huguenot Church, 65; 

education of, 67 ; puritan principles 
of, 64-72 ; Church discipline by, 

Miremont, de, huguenot minister, con- 
version of M. de la Borde, 113 

Montaigne, Michel Eyquem de, 15 ; 
Essay on 1'InstitutiondesEnfants, 19; 
early proficiency in latin, 19 ; travels 
of, described, 34-42 

Montauban, Mile du Plessis' quarrel 
with the huguenot ministers of, 64, 
198-217; Mile du Plessis arrives at, 
198 ; plot for betrayal of, 224 

Montmorenci, Anne, Connetable de, 
leader of the middle party in France, 
25, 52 ; killed in battle of St Denis, 
1567, 26 

Montmorenci, Francois, Duke of, helps 
du Plessis' escape from Paris, 108, 
mission of du Plessis to, on behalf of 
King of Navarre, 162 

Montmorenci, Guillame de, Sieur de 
Thore, attempt to escape from the 
Court, 133 ; raises troops in Germany, 
146 ; loses battle of Dormans, 149 

Montmorenci, Henri de, Comte de 
Damville, Duke of Montmorenci and 
Constable, leader of ' les Politiques,' 
52 ; suspected of complicity with 
League, 193; Constable of France, 
247 ; presides over Marshals' Court, 

Mornay, Bertin de, granddoyen of 
Beauvais, 81 ; bequeathes his pro- 
perty to du Plessis, 84 

Mornay, Jacques de, Sieur de Buhy, 81 ; 
a devout catholic, 82 ; death of, 82 ; 
refuses to read luthern books, 87 

Mornay, Philippe de, Sieur du Plessis 
Marly, birth of, 2, 81 ; education of, 
16, 85-92 ; family of, 8, 81 ; destined 
for Church, II, 84, 91; meets 
Charlotte Arbaleste, 20, 140; travels 
through Europe, 31, 41, 94-103; 
" Vindiciae contra tyrannos " attri- 
buted to, 32 ; friends made abroad, 
H. Languet, 32, 95 ; Philip Sidney, 
32, 169 ; A. du Ferrier, 33, 95, 187 ; 
Francis Walsingham, 169 ; visits 
England, 43, 102, 109, 131, 167, 177, 
271 ; Germany, 94, 95, 101 ; Italy, 
95-100; Low Countries, 43, 102, 
171-184 ; returns to France 1572, 46, 
103 ; governor of Saumur, 46, 236 ; 
Queen of England, missions to, 54, 
165, 271 ; success as surintendant 
of Navarre, 55, 231 ; opinion of 
Henri IV's amours, 56, 261, 278; 



I 'Institution del ' Eucharistie, 57, 275 ; 
Henri IV's annoyance at publication 
of above, 57 ; Conference of Fontaine- 
bleau, 58 ; scheme for settling 
Flemings in B^arn, 61 ; attempted 
assassination of, by St Phal, 73 ; 
lament for his son's death, 78 ; in- 
herits property from his uncle, 84, 88 ; 
attempt to secure church preferment 
for, 85 ; danger from Parisian mob, 
89 ; holds disputation with a fellow- 
scholar, 91 ; starts on grand tour, 94 ; 
danger of arrest in Rome, 99 ; arrival 
in Paris, 103 ; escape from massacre 
of St Bartholomew, 103-109; em- 
ployed by Prince of Orange and 
Duke of Alencon, 132 ; advises 
huguenots not to join Alencon, 133, 
'57 ! flight to Sedan, 134 ; dangerous 
mission to Louis of Nassau, 135-138 ; 
resides at Sedan, 139, 145, 155 ; 
writes book, ' on lawful power of a 
prince over his people,' 139 ; mission 
to Cleves, 142 ; publishes treatise on 
Life and Death, 145 ; campaign of 
Dormans, 146-155 ; foretells failure 
of, 148 ; taken prisoner, 149 ; wedding 
of, 156; returns to France, 157; 
Alencon proposes to send him to 
England, 160; warns Henri de 
Navarre of the League, 160 ; enters 
Henri de Navarre's service, 162 ; 
dangerous journey of, 164 ; captured 
Dy King's ships, 166 ; treatise on 
the Church, 170; warns Henri de 
Navarre against Guise, 173 ; severe 
illness of, 173-175; warns Orange 
against Anjou (Alencon), 179 ; pub- 
lishes book on Truths of the Christian 
Religion, 180; Anjou's hatred of, 
182 ; represents Henri de Navarre at 
Synod of huguenot Church, 185 ; 
urges du Ferrier to make a public 
confession of faith, 187 ; appointed 
surintendant of Navarre, 189 ; 
missions to Henri III on expulsion 
of Queen of Navarre from French 
Court, 190 ; on plots of Spain, 192- 
194 ; on behalf of huguenots, 195 ; 
blames ministers of Montauban for 
causing a schism, 203, 204 ; return 
of, to Court of Navarre, 1585, 218; 
confidence in success of huguenots, 
220; state papers written by, 221 ; 
Toulouse, plan for an attack on, 222 ; 
spends fifteen months at Montauban, 
223, 224 ; announces Conde's death 
to Henri de Navarre, 228 ; letter on 

Duke of Guise's death, 233 ; urges 
Henri de Navarre to march on Loire, 
234 ; negotiates meeting between 
two Kings, 235 ; blames Henri de 
Navarre for his love of a frolic, 237 ; 
news of death of Henri III reaches, 
240 ; commissioned to take charge of 
Cardinal de Bourbon, 241 ; Ivry, 
battle of, 248-251 ; attack on, by St 
Phal, 252269; mission to Duke of 
Mercceur, 253 ; support of his friends, 
256-258 ; disapproves of gift of Duchy 
of Vendome to Caesar, the King's 
son, 261 ; Henri IV tells him of his 
conversion, 273 ; catholic anger at 
I 'Institution de l Eucharistie, 275, 
276 ; will not condole with King on 
Duchess of Beaufort's death, 278 ; 
loss of favour at court, 279, 280 ; 
loses his governorship of Saumur, 286; 
death of, 287 

Mornay, children of du Plessis 
Mornay : — Marthe, birth of, 163, 
marries J. de Jaucourt de Villar- 
noul, 277 ; present at father's death- 
bed, 283. Elizabeth, birth of, 170; 
Sir Philip Sidney godfather to, 170. 
Philippe, Henri IV's bon mot on, 
58 ; death of, 78 ; his father's 
lament for, 79 ; born at Antwerp, 
173 ; choice of name for, 174 ; Mile 
de Buhy, his grandmother, loth to 
give up charge of, 194 ; military 
service in Low Countries of, 277, 
278 ; Henri IV's good opinion of, 
279; chafes at idleness, 281; chal- 
lenged to a duel, 282 ; killed at attack 
on Geldern, 285. Anne, birth of, 
186 ; brought up by Mile de Buhy, 
271. Three sons and two daughters 
died in infancy 

Mornay, Pierre de, Seigneur de Buhy, 
84 ; early conversion of, 87 ; at battle 
of St Denis, 93 ; flight of, after 
failure of princes to escape, 135 ; 
refugee in Sedan, 139 ; governor of 
St Lienart in Limousin, 144 ; division 
of paternal inheritance, 194; negoti- 
ates meeting of the two Kings at 
Tours, 235, 237 ; at battle of Ivry, 
250 ; death of, 260 

Moryson, Fynes, travels of described, 

Mouy, see Vaudray 

Nassau, Maurice de, godfather to du 
Plessis' second son, 180 ; du Plessis' 
son Philippe serves under, 283 



Nassau, William, l'rince of Orange, 
du Plessis to be senl on a mission to, 
103 ; huguenots offer to serve under, 
119; employs du Plessis at English 
Court, 132; catholic provinces ap- 
peal to, 169; warned against Anjou 
(Alencon) by du Plessis, 179; begs 
du Plessis not to leave Flanders, 182 ; 
attempted assassination of, 184 

Navarre, Henri de, see Henri IV 

Nerac, du Plessis moves his family to, 

Neufville, Nicholas de, Seigneur de 
Villeroi, secretary of State, 193 

Nevers, see Gonzague 

Orange, Prince of, see Nassau 

Padua, du Plessis studies at, 96 

Paris, citizens of, hostile to huguenots, 
49, 112; join in the massacre of St 
Bartholomew, 105-108, 121-127; 
Henri III, driven out of, 229 

Parliament of Paris, sits in Tours, 241 ; 
proposes Henri IV should reign 
jointly with Cardinal de Bourbon, 
242 ; warns du Plessis of an attempt 
on his life, 245 ; takes proceedings 
against St Phal, 261, 262 

Pas, Jean de, Sieur de Feuqueres, m. 
Charlotte d'Arbaleste 1 14, 1 18 ; page 
to Francois II, 114 ; goes to Rome, 
115; conversion of, 115; involved 
in conspiracy of Amboise, 116; sent 
by Catherine on mission to Louis, 
prince de Conde, 117; at Battle of 
St Denis, 118; volunteers to join 
William of Orange, 119; death of, 

Pas, Suzanne de, d. of Jean de Pas 
Sieur de Feuqueres and Charlotte 
dArbaleste, birth of, 119; saved in 
the massacre, 123; adopted by her 
great - grandmother, Dame Marie 
Guillard d'Esprunes, 123; birth of a 
son of, 262 ; bequest from her grand- 
mother M. Chevalier de la Borde, 
271 ; marriage of, 275 ; her husband 
made gentleman -in -waiting, 280; 
2nd marriage with If, desNozers, 284 

Peasants, unaffected by huguenot re- 
formation, 65 ; poverty of, 66 

Terreuze, de, maitre des requetes, 
saves many huguenots from massacre 
of St Bartholomew, 121-123 

Philip II, King of Spain, proposals of, 
to assist King of Navarre against 
King of France, 187 

Plague, outbreak of, on ship, 173 
Plantin, Christophe, prints du Plessis' 

book on Christian Religion, 180 
Plessis, see Mornay, Philippe de ; also 

Arbaleste, Charlotte de, Mile du 

Politiques, les, the middle party between 

extreme catholics and huguenots, 26, 

53. 'Si 

Quelus, see Caylus 

Ramigny, Lazare, appointed tutor to 
du Plessis, 90 ; murdered in the 
massacre of St Bartholomew, no 

Reformation in France, early character 
°f> 3"7 ! importance of women in, 4 ; 
influence of Erasmus, 5 

Requesens, Don Louis de, paper on 
death of, written by du Plessis, 140 

Ribiere, M. de la, the King's doctor, 
treatment of Mile du Plessis, 280 

Rochelle, offer to make good du Plessis' 
losses at sea, 167 ; wishes to illumin- 
ate on Guise's death, 233 

Rohan, Jacqueline de, Marquise de 
Rothelin, arranges disputation be- 
tween du Plessis and de Menneville, 
9 1 ; conversion of M . de la Borde, 1 1 3 ; 
friend of Charlotte d'Arbaleste, 121 

Rohan, Rene Vicomte de, lends du 
Plessis money for his voyage, 167 

Rome, Montaigne's description of, 41, 
42 ; du Plessis in, 42, 99 

Rosieres, Fr. de, author of Slemmatt 
Lttharingiae ac Barri ducum, 184 

Rosny, Maximilien de, Due de Sully, 
supports du Plessis in quarrel with 
St Phal, 259 ; m. Mile du Plessis' 
niece, 259 ; unfriendly to du Plessis, 
279 ; summons du Plessis' son to 
court, 281 

Rothelin, see Rohan, Jacqueline de 

Rouen, English troops at siege of, 271 

Sacrament Sunday, tokens required 
for, 199, 201 

Saulx, Guillaume de, Comte de Tav- 
annes, takes pleasure in du Plessis' 
conversation, 153 

Saulx, Jear. de, Vicomte de Tavannes, 
at battle of Dormans, 150 

Saumur, given as guarantee of treaty 
1589, 236; Saumur given up to du 
Plessis, 238; arrival of Mile du Plessis 
at, 239 

Sea Robbers, steal du Plessis' manu- 
script, 171 



Sedan, birth of Suzanne de Pas at, 120 ; 
arrival of Charlotte d'Arbaleste (Mile 
du Plessis) at, 130 ; arrival of du 
Plessis and his brothers at, 1 39 ; a city 
of refugees, 139; du Plessis stays at, 

145. 155 
Sidney, Philip, friendships with du 

Plessis and Hubert Lanquet, 32 ; 

translates du Plessis' book on Truths 

of Christianity, 169 ; godfather to 

Elizabeth de Mornay, 170 
St Aldegonde, Philippe de Marnix, 

Seigneur de, 177 
St Bartholomew, massacre of, 49 ; 

results of, 49-53 ; du Plessis' escape 

from, 103- 109; Charlotte d'Arbaleste's 

escape from, 1 2 1- 1 30 
St Denis, battle of, 93, 118 
St Germain, plot for escape of Duke 

of Alencon and King of Navarre 

from, 133 

Tambonnkau, President db, Char- 
lotte d'Arbaleste and others take 
refuge with, 124 

Territorial names, common use of, 15 

Thore, see Montmorenci 

Thou, Christophe de, premier president, 
judgment on duelling, 76 ; protects 
huguenots at massacre of St Bar- 
tholomew, 123 

Toulouse, appeal of huguenots of 
Montauban to the Parlement of, 204, 
216; du Plessis' plan for attack on, 
221, 222 

Tour d'Auvergne, Henri de la, Vicomte 
de Turenne, Due de Bouillon, diffi- 
culty with du Plessis ends in friend- 
ship, 219; charged with defence of 
Dordogne, 222 ; wounded at Nerac, 
224 ; supports du Plessis in quarrel 
with St Phal, 256 

Tours, meeting of two Kings at, 238 ; 
attacked by Mayenne, 239 

Travel, methods of, coaches, 35, 37 ; 
horseback, 35 ; water transport, 35, 
240 ; sea voyages, 43, 63 ; post- 
horses, 36, 43 

T r e m e 1 i u s, Emmanuel, excellent 
Hebrew scholar, 94 

Turenne, see Tour d'Auvergne 

Valois, Francois de, Duke of 
Alencon, Duke of Anjou 1576, 
character of, 53 ; makes use of les 
politiques, 53 ; employs du Plessis 
at English court, 132 ; plans escape 

from St- Germain -en- Laye, 134; 
mercenary troops raised for, 146 ; 
proposes to send du Plessis to- 
Queen Elizabeth, 170, 177; effort 
to damage du Plessis, 178 ; attempt 
to make himself ruler of Low 
Countries, 179 ; treachery of, 180 \ 
false dealing with du Plessis by, 
182, 183; Philip IPs plans against, 
188 ; death of, 197 

Vaudray, Artus de, Seigneur de Mouy, 
godfather to du Plessis' son Philippe, 

Vaudray, Isaac de (?) de Mouy, related 
to du Plessis and to St Phal, 261 ; 
lays the blame for the quarrel on St 
Phal, 262 

Vaudray, Charles Louis de, seigneur de 
Mouy. (This is the most probable 
identification. C. L. de Vaudray de 
Mouy was killed in 1583.) Shares 
campaign of Dormans with du Plessis, 
146 ; wounded and taken prisoner, 
153 ; severe treatment of Olonne by, 

Vaudray, Georges de, Sieur de Saint 
Phal, quarrel with du Plessis, 252- 
269 ; judgment of Marshals' Court 
against, 265 ; begs forgiveness of the 
King and du Plessis in presence of 
the Court, 267-269 

Venice, 95 ; Inquisition at, 96 ; scene 
in the Doge's Palace, 97 

Verdavagne, M. de, doctor to Duke of 
Bouillon ; Mile du Plessis lodges 
with, 140; arranges meeting of Duke 
and Duchess, 141 

Victoria, Queen, court-dress in days 
of, 68 

Vielleville, Marechal de France, mem- 
oirs of quoted, 17 

Villars, see Brancas 

Villeroi, see Neufville 

" Vindiciae contra Tyrannos," 139 

Viteaux, Baron de, account of duels 
fought by, 76, 77 

Walsinciham, Sir Francis, protects 
Hubert Languet in the massacre of 
St Bartholomew, 33 ; friendship with 
du Plessis, 33, 169 ; writes to 
England on du Plessis' behalf, 132 
Wars of Religion, confused origin of, 21 
Wigs, use of, 70-72 ; fierce quarrel 
over, in Church of Montauban, 198- 
217 ; Mile du Plessis orders two of 
chestnut colour, 290 




Published by 


Broadway House : 68-74 Carter Lane, 

London, E.C.4. 



The object of this series is to put before the public 
the masterpieces of foreign literature of every country 
and in every age. Already over forty volumes have 
been issued, and the reception given to them by the 
Press may be judged from the opposite page. 

The publishers have kept three main objects in mind. 
Firstly, that the translations shall be as accurate and 
readable as possible. For this reason they have in 
some instances reprinted the magnificent Tudor or 
other existing translations, sometimes entrusted the 
work to be done afresh by an expert. 

Secondly, that the editions shall be complete and 
definitive. Each volume has therefore been entrusted 
to an expert Editor, who has, where necessary, pro- 
vided notes, and in all cases written an Introduction, 
explaining or criticizing the book and placing it against 
a historical background and environment. 

Thirdly, that the books chosen for inclusion shall be 
those which for the most part it is difficult or 
impossible to obtain elsewhere. 


The volumes are issued in two sizes, Crown 8vo at 
7/6 net, and Demy 8vo at 12/6 net. The larger volumes 
contain about twice as many words as the smaller, 
thus allowing many famous books to be included which 
would otherwise have been too long. The binding is 
quarter-vellum with a leather label : each language 
is allotted a distinctive colour of binding, label, and 
end-paper. Suitable books are illustrated. 




Times Literary Supplement : " That excellent series." 

Spectator : " Messrs. Routledge's valuable and important 

London Mercury : " Messrs. Routledge are putting us deep 
in their debt with the Broadway Translations, an enterprise 
that cannot be too highly recommended. We wish this series 
luck ; it is really covering fresh ground." 

The Bookman : " A series that is winning a well-deserved 
renown for its publishers. The volumes are beautifully 
printed on good paper and strongly and very tastefully 

The Nation and Athenaeum : " The Broadway Translations 
are rightly making a name for themselves." 

Journal 0/ Education : " It would be difficult to imagine 
volumes more pleasing in appearance than these ; their 
vellum-like backs with leather labels and gold lettering, 
combined with good paper and clear print, reflect great 
credit upon the publisher. And their contents do not belie 
their pleasing exteriors." 

Queen : " Those veritable treasures from the inexhaustible 
mine of classical literature." 

Manchester Guardian : "A series which opens up windows on 
^fascinating seas where voyagers from this country rarely 

g°-" t 

Bystander : " It is really something quite new. The editor of 

this series has his own ideas, and is gradually bringing 

together a shelf-ful of good books which you are not likely 

to find elsewhere." 

Daily Graphic : " Still they come in, this amazing series ; 
some of the least known, but most prized (by the elect) of 
all the books in the world." 

Bookman's Journal : " One of the most delightful literary 
enterprises that one remembers." 

T.P's. and Cassell's Weekly : " Outstanding examples of what 
can be produced by scholarly editors finding pleasure in their 
work and encouraged by publishers of a scholarly mind." 

Daily News : " There are few libraries that will not be the 
richer for the volumes in the Broadway Translations." 

Glasgoiv Herald : " Every successive volume adds to the 
sense of obligation to publishers and editors." 



PETRONIUS' SATYRICON. Translated by /. .1/. 

Mitchell, with Notes and an Introduction on ' The 

Book and its Morals ', etc. 
Third Edition. 

" An intimate picture of life under the Roman Empire. It is 
a civilization, elaborate, highly-organized, luxurious, pluto- 
cratic, modern, filthy, scurrilous, and immoral ; and the 
characters are a very succession of Macheaths and Filches, 
Pollies and I.ucies, and worse still. We are nearer to the 
heart of life than many a ' best-seller ' dares to bring us." 

— Westminster Gazette. 

THE GIRDLE OF APHRODITE : the Fifth Book of 

the Palatine Anthology. Translated into verse by 

F. A. Wright, M.A With an Introduction on 

' Love in Greek Literature ', etc. 

" The joyous work of a really gifted translator. Again and 

again using rhyme as an equivalent for the subtle vowel 

modulations of the Greek, he achieves a fine translation. 

His work has the force and delicacy of our Caroline classics. 

The subject of these epigrams runs through the whole gamut 

of loving as a fine art." — E. B. Csborn, in Morning Post. 

Companion Volume to ' The Girdle of Aphrodite '. 
By F. A. Wright. 
" Mr Wright has pieced together the life-stories of certain 
makers of the Greek epigrams, and illustrated them by a large 
number of his delightful verse translations, and so produced a 
book that is a book — a labour of love which will be gratefully 
received by all." — E. B. Osborn, in Morning Post. 

MASTER TYLL OWLGLASS : his Marvellous 
Adventures and Rare Conceits. Translated by 
K. R. H. Mackenzie, with an Introduction and 
Appendices. With 26 illustrations by Alfred 
" The knaveries of Master Owlglass are permanently part of 
the world's laughing-stock, because its author was an artist 
in an age where writers were apt to be pedants. The divert- 
ing history of Owlglass is a satire upon the essential fool of 
all time. It belongs to life. Mackenzie's rendering is too 
well-known to need further approval." — Times Lit. Supp. 



by John Davidson, with an Introduction on 
' Montesquieu's Life and Work '. With 4 etchings 
by Edward de Beaumont. 
" What is enthralling is the account of harem life : women, 
slaves, eunuchs, are all real, and the inevitable climax is 
superbly told. The place of these letters upon the book- 
shelf is between Hajji Baba and The Thousand and One 
Nights. Montesquieu's genius is unquestionable ; in its 
own genre it is unsurpassed. The introduction is by the 
most considerable poet of the English nineties, and for the 
translation it will suffice to say that the work reads like an 
original." — Bookman's Journal. 

MOON AND THE SUN. Translated by Richard 
Aldington, with an Introduction on ' The Libertin 
Question ', etc. Ten curious illustrations. 
" For anyone who likes a queer, old satirical book, the work 
01 a writer with a touch of rare, wayward genius in him, 
I recommend the book. I cannot recall a modern translation 
of an old book which is more successful than this in keeping 
the spirit of the original and in being at the same time 
distinguished and finished English prose." — Nation. 
TOWN : of Fishermen, Farmers, Parasites, and 
Courtesans. Translated by F. A. Wright, with an 
Introduction on ' The Beginnings of Romance '. 
" Which of Horace's classics can compare with Alciphron 
in charm, in naivety, in direct and sometimes risky humour 
— in short, in just those qualities which men seek for their 
reading. The Alciphron of our day would be a best-seller." 
— Manchester Guardian. 

OVID : THE LOVER'S HANDBOOK. Translated into 
English verse by F. A. Wright ; with an Introduc- 
tion on ' Ovid's Life and Exile ', etc. 

Second Edition. 

This translation of the Ars Amatoria is in three Parts : How 
to Win hove, How to Keep Love, The Lady's Companion. 
" Usually people fight shy of this poem. Naughty it may be in 
parts. But its value is great. Moreover, Mr Wright is a cun- 
ning translator." — Bystander. " This rendering of Ovid is 
not only masterly, but delightful, audacious, charming. Mr 
Wright's gusto and lightness triumph over every difficulty. 
He shows how necessary wit is in the translator of a witty work. 
He is full of it, and he flags as little as Ovid himself. An 
altogether delightful book." — New Age. 



by William Rose, Ph.D. ; with an Introduction. 
With 20 illustrations by Alfred Crow quill. 
" A glorious liar, Munchausen is one of the immortals ; as 
long as it is human nature to like truth made digestible by 
a spice of lying his fame and name will flourish. The Baron 
as we know him is a magnificent example of the gallant 
adventurers to be met with on all the resounding highways 
of Eighteenth-Century Europe." — Morning Post. 


CENTURY. Translated by Richard Aldington ; with 

an Introduction on ' French and English Comedy '. 

Illustrated with four portraits. 

Regnard's The Residuary Legatee, a brilliant farce ; I.esage's 

Turcaret or The Financier, a moral play ; Marivaux's The 

Game of Love and Chance, a delightful fantasy ;' 

The Conceited Count, a sentimental comedy ; are the plays 

included. " We are glad to welcome this addition to the 

excellent Broadway Translations. The selection is an excellent 

one." — Times Literary Supplement. 

The Love-Story of Theagenes and Chariclea. Trans- 
lated by Thos. Underdowne, 1587. Revised by 
F. A. Wright; with an Introduction. 
" The Aethiopica is the oldest and by far the first in excellence 
of construction and general interest of those Greek stories of 
love and adventure which have survived through the Middle 
Ages. Nobody who reads it even to-day will think it inferior 
in interest to the best kind of modern adventure story. The 
' rich colour and romantic vigour ' of the translation are not 
exaggerated, and make this work one of the classics of the 
language." — Morning Post. 

L. A. Magnus, LIB. and K. Walter. With an 
author's Preface, and a portrait. 
These plays (Faust and the City, The Magi, Vasilisa the Wise) 
are poetical dramas of most unusual merit. The Times 
Literary Supplement reviewing Vasilisa spoke of it as " A play 
rich in fantasy and in splendid visions ; it sets one dreaming. 
It means nothing ; it means a thousand things ; it has the 
logic and cohesion of its own strange beauty." 



Translated into verse by Louis Untermeyer ; with a 
critical and biographical Introduction, and a 
" Mr Untermeyer, one feels sure, may be trusted as an inter- 
preter, and that in itself is no small thing. The reader ought 
not to fail to enjoy these pages. Many of the poems read well, 
in particular some of the longer ones. Mr Untermeyer's 
excellent appreciation of Heine's gifts ought to be of help. 
It is clear that he has got deeper into Heine's mind than many 
translators." — Times Literary Supplement. 
THE IDYLLS OF THEOCRITUS, with the fragments 
of Bion and Moschus. Translated into verse by 
/. H. Hallard, M.A., with an Introduction on 
' Greek Bucolic Poetry '. 
" Mr Hallard's volume is altogether delightful and entirely 
worthy of the Broadway Translations. I had hitherto believed 
that Calverley said the last word in the translation of Theocritus. 
But it wants no very great experience to realize at once trmt 
Mr Hallard ' has the advantage ', because there is more 
vitality in his verse, and just that touch of archaism which is 
demanded. Exquisite pieces. . ." — /. St. Lot Strachey, in 


the Tibetan Monasteries. Translated from the French 

version of Jacques Bacot (with an Introduction, 

Notes and Index) by H. I. Woolf. With numerous 

illustrations from native designs by V. Goloubew. 

" The publishers deserve credit for issuing a book so limited 

in its appeal and so uncommon in its interest. The plays are 

religious in subject, and seem to be rather epic than dramatic 

in interest. We can perceive through the pages of this book 

the world as it appears to the unsophisticated mind ; vast, 

shadowy, marvellous, and controlled by a rough but simple 

justice." — Golden Hind. 

Translated by //. /. Woolf, with an Introduction on 
' Voltaire and his Religion '. 
" Have you ever read Zadig ? Be not put off. Zadig is a real 
story, as is also The Simple Soul. They are not the stiff and 
stilted affairs that perhaps you may have thought them, but 
the most gracious entertainment. Read this new translation, 
and you should find Voltaire very much to your liking."— 



REYNARD THE FOX. Translated by William 
Caxton, 1481. Modernized and edited by William 
Swan Stallybrass. Introduction by William Rose, 
M.A., Ph.D. Also THE PHYSIOLOGUS, trans- 
lated by James Carlill, with an Introduction. 
With 32 illustrations after Kaulbach. 
" Reynard the Fox is surely one of the best stories ever told. 
It was very popular in the Middle Ages, and was translated and 
printed byCaxton in 1481. This version, very well modernized, 
is the one used. It is excellently written and does justice to 
the story. The illustrations are nearly as good as the story." — 
Weekly Westminster. The present edition is unexpurgated. 
To it is added the Physiologus, a curious and very ancient 
collection of animal-stories, mostly fabulous. 
COUNT LUCANOR : the Fifty Pleasant Tales of 
Patronio. Translated from the Spanish of Don 
Juan Manuel by James York, M.D. Introduction 
by /. B. Trend. With 30 plates by L. S. Wood. 
" I have been enjoying one of the latest of the Broadway 
Translations. It is one of those Spanish collections of tales and 
anecdotes which have had so much influence on European 
literature, and this one in particular is full of fine worldly 
wisdom and shrewd humour. There is an excellent introduction, 
and I can heartily recommend it" — Saturday Review. 
Translated by Professor H. Ashton, with an Intro- 
' One reads her novel as if it were a true story told with 
exquisite tact by a woman who not only knew how to write, 
but also knew exactly how the heroine had thought and felt. 
The Princess of Cleves is a masterpiece, and there is no need to 
say any more about this translation than to point out that it 
is by Professor Ashton who knows the whole period well, and 
that he has done his work so tactfully that it is a pleasure to 
read." — -New Statesman. 

Ralph Robinson. Introduction by Hugh Goitein. 
Also BACON'S ATLANTIS. Illustrated with wood- 
cuts by Lang/ord Jones. 
" These two famous books have been carefully edited with an 
Introduction, Notes, and a Glossary, and the Utopia has been 
illustrated for the first time by some charming drawings. 
We can commend the book in every way ; it is in clear type, 
well got up, and contains everything needful for easy perusal." 
— Saturday Review. 




from the French oiL'AbbePrevost by George Dunning 

dribble, with an Introduction. 
" No denunciations by moralists, no interdiction by the 
police, has affected it. Burn it, but read it first, was 
the advice given on its first appearance." — Field. " Like 
The Princess of Cleves this book is one of the landmarks 
in the history of romance-writing. In it Prevost reached the 
height of art, simplicity and style, sympathy and power, which 
leave us passionate admirers. Even after two centuries the 
book retains its charm, which is not lost in the translation." 
— Saturday Review. 

the Commentarial Introduction entitled Nidana 

Katha or The Story of the Lineage. Translated from 

Professor Fausboll's Pali text by T. W. Rhys Davids. 

New and revised edition by Mrs Rhys Davids, D.Litt. 
Originally published in 1880 in Trubner's Oriental Series, this 
volume has long been out of print and has become extremely 
rare. It contains the only translation into any European 
language of the Nidana-Katha or ' narrative introducing ' the 
great collection of stories known as the Jatakas. " A work 
of high interest and value, it is a sort of Introduction to the 
Jataka, a collection of stories which have formed the origin of 
much of our European popular literature."— Saturday Review. 
THREE PLAYS OF PLAUTUS. Translated by F. A. 

Wright and H. Lionel Rogers, with an Introduction 

by the former. 
" The plays chosen here, the Rudens [The Slip Knot , the 
Pseudolus [The Trickster], and the A ulularia [The Crock of Gold], 
make a good selection. The first has a whiff of sea and shipwreck 
and distressed damosels, the Au/ularia attracts as a story of hid- 
den treasure,and the Pseudolus has a scheming slave and a pimp, 
both of fine and frank impudence." — New Statesman. " He 
(and his colleague's) Plautus is at its best, rollicking, resource 
ful, Rabelaisian." — London Mercury. 
IL NOVELLINO : the Hundred Old Tales. Translated 

from the Italian by Edward Storer, with an 

' ' Even Boccaccio, with all his art, does not give a truer picture 
of the Italian character." — -Daily Herald. " Not quite fables, 
not quite fairy stories, these delightful old tales . . . may still 
be read for profit as well as for amusement." — Daily News. 
" The translation is excellent. The simple force of the original 
is wonderfully retained, and a cold steely beauty evoked." 
— Times Literary Supplement. 



THE MIRROR OF VENUS ; Love Poems and Stories 
from Ovid. Translated by F. A. Wright, with an 
Introduction on ' Love in Latin Literature.' 
" The introductory essay is full of original ideas and enthusias- 
tic scholarship ; and his renderings into English verse of a 
large selection of Ovid's amatory poems are really delightful." 
— Westminster Gazette. " Very well worth its place. It may 
be taken as a companion volume to his Lover's Handbook. 
It is a joyous book — one more attempt to make people under- 
stand that the old Latins were not dullards." — Bystander. 
DOCTOR JOHN FAUSTUS ; his Damnable Life and 
Deserved Death, 1592. Together with the Second 
Report of Faustus, containing his Appearances and 
the Deeds of Wagner, 1594. Both modernized and 
edited by William Rose, M.A. Ph.D., with an 
Introduction on ' Faust in History and Literature.' 
With 24 curious illustrations. 
" Few of the volumes of the Broadway Translations can 
equal this one in interest. This is, in the main, due to the 
subject itself, but also to the glamour added to it by tradition, 
drama, and opera. Dr Rose successfully expounds the deep 
significance of the world-old story. The volume is to be 
commended both for its scholarship and its delineation of this 
perennial problem." — Journal of Education. 


Nogent Sous Coucy. Translated by C. C. S. Bland. 

Introduction by G. G. Coulton, author of 

' Chaucer and his England,' etc. 
" Comparable to the work done by St Augustine. Messrs 
Routledge are to be congratulated." — Saturday Review. " A 
very curious piece of self-revelation, interesting alike to the 
student of history and humanity. It is valuable not only 
for the intrinsic interest of the abbot's life, but for the history 
it reveals of the period and the social life of the time in 
monastery and castle." — Daily Chronicle. 

edited by F. A. Wright, with an Introduction. 

The poetry of Catullus ranks high among the world's master- 
pieces of love-poetry. Mr Wright has arranged it on a new 
plan, grouping together all the Lesbia poems, then the epigrams, 
then the occasional verse; and finally the longer pieces. He has 
selected for his translations from the most successful versions of 
the past — including many of our greatest poets — while in many 
cases he presents his own version. 






from the old French by Richard Aldington, with an 


" The Fifteen Joys was one of the very last of the anti-feminine 
attacks of the Middle Ages, and it is certainly one of the most 
amusing and least offensive. It is essentially a work of humour 
and therefore fantastic in its assumptions. The author is to 
be praised for the amusing realism of his situations and 
dialogue, his skill in sketching his gallery of uncomplimentary 
female portraits. ... I leave the reader to explore for 
himself, with some confidence that he will find amusement in 
the shrewd, naif, ironical old author." — From the Introduction. 



Demy 8vo, 12/6 net. 

Translated by Philemon Holland, 1606. Edited by 
/. H. Freese, M.A. ; with an Introduction and 
" Suetonius is the descriptive journalist. Acting for some 
time as secretary to the Emperor Hadrian he not only had 
access to the imperial archives, but was in a position to pick 
up all the back-stairs gossip, to overhear anecdotes and 
intrigues of the most intimate nature. It is for this reason 
that his Lives is such a vastly entertaining book, more 
entrancing and more exciting than any work of fiction." — Queen. 

Translation of 1684-5, with the excessively rare 
Fourth Part, and facsimiles of all the original 
engraving, portraits, maps, etc. Edited by William 
Swan Stallybrass ; with Notes and Index. With 
Andrew Lang's Essay on the Buccaneers. 
Second Edition. 

" Esquemeling tells us very interesting things about the origin 
of the most famous pirates of the time and their peculiar 
manners and customs. He gives a spirited account of their 
careers, and then comes to his principal villain, Captain 
Morgan. This reckless rascal, who lacked fear and shame 
completely, is the subject of several thrilling chapters. . . 
Here is the good raw stuff of fifty romances. Rum and brandy 
flow like water. Plate-ships, fire-ships, torturings, pillagings, 
hunting, Spaniards, Indians, how a beautiful woman preserved 
her virtue amidst incredible perils — all that ever went with the 
South Seas is to be found in these pages." — Times Literary 

comedy of Calisto and Melibea. Translated from 
the Spanish of De Rojas by James Mabbe, 163 1. 
Edited by H. Warner Allen ; with an Introduction 
on ' The Picaresque Novel '. 
" It was indeed a happy thought to add Mabbe's version of 
163 1 to the excellent series of Broadway Translations. In the 
Ce'/estina, a strain of the older Spanish romanticism persists in 
the simple story of the two star-crossed lovers. But the 
central figure is the venerable bawd Celestina, most illustrious 
of Spanish rogues, and about her a set of dishonest servants and 
lights o' love that give place to her alone in vigorous drawing." 
— Nation. 





Translated by M. C. Beverley. Introduction by 

Prince D. S. Mirsky. 
" It is late in the day to praise the Chronicles after so many 
have praised it. One had better accept it with gratitude as 
the finest thing the Broadway Translations have given us, 
for mirabile dictu ! here is a translator who can translate, 
who has made the immortal love-story live in pure and 
convincing English that will, one hopes, make the young 
Russian lovers as familiar and beloved as Richard Feverel." 
— " Northern Review." 

GESTA ROMANORUM : Monks' Tales. Translated 
by Charles Swan. Introduction by Dr E. A. Baker. 
" It is a book that influenced the imagination of Europe, and 
it can still be read with pleasure, largely on account of its 
quaintness of incident and moral. It makes an entertaining 
addition to the excellent series of Broadway Translations."— 
Robert Lynd, in Daily News. " Few old works have proved a 
richer mine for the story-teller than the Gesta ; it has never 
lost its charm." — Westminster Gazette. 

A BOOK OF 'CHARACTERS'.' Edited by Richard 

Aldington ; with an Introduction and Notes. 
" Delightfully learned, but extremely entertaining." — Daily 
Express. " Theophrastus (newly translated), Hall, Overbury, 
and Earle, are given complete. Breton, Fuller, Butler, I,a 
Bruyere, Vauvenargues, are fully drawn upon, and some 
seventy other authors are represented. There has been no 
indulgence in expurgation. The book is a wonderful collection 
and presents for the first time a complete view of an extremely 
prolific branch of English literature. Invaluable." — 
Birmingham Post. 

A. T. S. Goodrick, M.A. With an Introduction by 
William Rose, Ph.D. 
" It is remarkable that English readers should ha%'e had to 
wait until now for a translation of one of the greatest of German 
classics. This admirable translation should find a public who, 
on reading it, may well express their surprise that such an 
indispensable document, such a readable work of literature, 
should have been allowed to remain closed to them for so long." 
— Times Literary Supplement. 



Geoffrey Fenton, 1567. Edited and modernized with 
a Glossary by Hugh Harris, M.A. Introduction by 
Robert Langton Douglas. 

" Bandello's amusing and often risque" tales are here expanded 
with all the gorgeous rhetoric of the Elizabethan spacious days." 
— Vogue. " Fenton's Bandello is surely a monument of decor- 
ative English prose. What prose in the world can match the 
Elizabethan for beauty, richness, stateliness, and harmony ? 
Where else will you find language so pithy, vivid, and 

expressive ? Oh, rare Sir Geoffrey Fenton 


Liaisons Dangereuses). Translated by Richard 
Aldington, with an Introduction and Notes. 

" A profoundly immoral book. The translation is a really 
brilliant piece of work." — Weekly Westminster. " A remark- 
able work of fiction. An age which has tolerated the brutality 
a La Garconne, and the foul chaos of Ulysses must not make 
itself ridiculous by throwing stones at Les Liaisons Dangereuses." 
— Edmund Gosse in Sunday Times. " His two great creations 
are the arch-intriguers, Valmont and Mme de Merteuil. We 
are as enthralled by them as if we were forced to watch two 
surgeons of diabolistic genius at work in an operating theatre. 
It is this moment which definitely lifts the book to greatness. 
It is this spectacle of a slow and pitiless fascination which 
Laclos works up to an almost unbearable pitch." — Times 
Literary Supplement. 

Translated into verse by 
Wright. Introduction by 

/. A. Pott and F. A. 
F. A. Wright. 

" There have been many English renderings, partial or com- 
plete. Among the latter the handsome volume recently 
published in the Broadway Translations may be welcomed as 
taking the first place." — Times Literary Supplement. 
" Translated with superb success." — R. Ellis Roberts, in 
Guardian. " For stark realism, for caustic humour, and for 
cleverness, are not to be matched. The student of history will 
find them a strange and realistic addition to the conventional 
history books." — Daily Herald. 





the Memoirs of Philippe de Mornay, Sieur du 

Plessis Marly, written by his wife. Translated by 

Lucy Crump, with an Introduction. 

These memoirs stand out from the bulk of their kind in Franc e 

by reason of their sincerity and intimacy. Early travels, escape 

from the St. Bartholomew massacre, capture by pirates, life in 

Sedan, England, the Low Countries, the shifting court of 

Navarre, this multitudinous variety make of these memoirs 

a book apart. 

TIBETAN TALES, derived from Indian Sources. 

Translated from the Tibetan of the Kahgyur by 

F. A. von Schiefner, and from the German into 

English by W. R. S. Ralston, M.A. New edition 

with a Preface by C. A. F. Rhys Davids, D.Litt. 

Tibetan Tales and Buddhist Birth Stories were both originally 

published in Trubner's Oriental Series and soon went out of 

print. They have now both been reissued in the Broadway 

Translations. Through these two books the English reader 

may get on speaking terms with the vast dual Bible of Tibet. 


SAPPHO'S COMPLETE WORKS. Greek text with an 
English verse translation en regard by C. R . Haines, 
M.A., with an Introduction, Notes, etc. Illustrated. 
" The object of this edition is to provide not only the student 
and classical scholar, but also the general public, with a handy 
comprehensive edition of Sappko, containing all that is so far 
known about her unique personality and her incomparable 
poems."— -From the Introduction. 

Translated by Sir Roger 1'Estrange, John Stevens, 
and others. Revised and edited with an Intro- 
duction, Notes, and a Version of the ' Life of the 
Great Rascal ', by Charles Duff. 
"It is as a satirical and comic writer in prose that Quevedo 
holds his own, not only with the greatest names in Spanish 
literature, but in world literature generally. His command of 
language is extraordinary. The Great Rascal was written by 
him to achieve two purposes, to produce a masterpiece, and 
to draw a terrible picture of the absurdity of all vice and 
rascality. In both objects he succeeded." — From the Intro- 


Printed in Great Britain by 
M. F. Robinson &■ Co. Ltd., The Library Press, Lowestotl 



'St e a 

Universify of Toronto